US Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood has announced $287m in emergency relief funds for New York to restore roads and bridges damaged by natural disasters.

Of the total funding, $250m has been specifically allocated for the Hurricane Sandy recovery.

Funds from the US Department of Transportation’s (USDOT) Federal Highway Administration will be used to reimburse the state for expenses associated with damage primarily from Hurricane Sandy.

These funds will help to pay for rebuilding or replacing damaged highways and bridges, setting up detours and replacing highway infrastructure devices such as lighting and guardrails.

Federal Highway Administrator Victor Mendez said that the department’s priority after an emergency is restoring the transportation network.

"Of the total funding, $250m has been specifically allocated for the Hurricane Sandy recovery."

"We want to be sure that states have all the financial backing they need from the federal government to repair roads and bridges, and rebuild local economies, and that life can get back to normal for people living in affected communities," Mendez added.

The latest funding is a part of the Disaster Relief Appropriations Act of 2013, passed by Congress and signed by President Obama.

On 12 February 2013, Secretary LaHood also announced $28m emergency relief funds to repair transportation links in federal parks and recreation areas in New York and New Jersey damaged by Hurricane Sandy.

The department also issued a new rule to streamline the federal environmental review process in order to help states begin recovery work sooner.

The rule accelerates the recovery process by reducing the environmental review for transit, road and bridge repair projects that significantly conform to the pre-existing design, function and location as the original.