Roads (paved, gravel, and dirt) that are the responsibility of an eligible applicant are eligible for permanent repair or replacement under the Public Assistance Program, unless they are Federal-Aid Roads (see Federal-Aid Roads). Eligible work includes repair to surfaces, bases, shoulders, ditches, culverts, low water crossings, and other features, such as guardrails. Damage to the road must be disaster-related to be eligible for repair. In addition, repairs necessary as the result of normal deterioration, such as “alligator cracking,” are not eligible because it is pre-disaster damage.
Landslides and washouts often affect roads. Earthwork in the vicinity of a road may be eligible, but only if the work is necessary to ensure the structural integrity of the road (see Landslides).
Road or bridge closures resulting from a disaster may increase traffic loads on nearby roads. If diverted traffic causes damage to a road, FEMA may pay to repair this damage if no alternative route is available.
Restoration of a damaged road may include upgrades necessary to meet current codes and standards, as defined by the State or local department of highways (see Codes and Standards). Typical standards affect lane width, loading design, and construction materials.