WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Senator Alex Padilla (D-Calif.) announced that California will receive $631,410,543 over the next five years through the new Promoting Resilient Operations for Transformative, Efficient, and Cost-Saving Transportation (PROTECT) formula program. This funding from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration or FHWA will help states and communities better prepare for and respond to extreme weather events like wildfires, flooding, and extreme heat. This is a first-of-its-kind program, made possible by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. Padilla authored an amendment included in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to ensure that vegetation management along roadways, a critical activity to help prevent wildfires in California, is eligible under the PROTECT Program.
The PROTECT Formula Program is available to make transportation infrastructure more resilient to future weather events and other natural disasters by focusing on resilience planning, making resilience improvements to existing transportation assets and evacuation routes, and addressing at-risk highway infrastructure. In general, eligible projects include highway and transit projects, bicycle and pedestrian facilities and port facilities including those that help improve evacuations or disaster relief. States are encouraged to work with regional and local partner organizations to prioritize transportation and emergency response improvements, as well as address vulnerabilities.