Resilience and public service vital to US infrastructure

U.S. Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx recently gave one of the nation’s most prestigious awards to Adam Schildge, a Federal Transit Administration employee, for showing outstanding federal service after Hurricane Sandy in 2012.

Schildge, who was instrumental in creating and carrying out a grant program dedicated to resilience projects and protecting infrastructure, earned the Partnership for Public Service “Samuel J. Herman Service to America” medal.

During the hurricane response, the FTA created a program to distribute emergency relief and also sought to help future storm response by improving transit systems and their resilience.

"Once the recovery effort was underway, we turned to a young FTA staffer, Adam Schildge, to develop and execute a new grant program for resilience projects that would protect infrastructure and keep our transit systems running when the next disaster struck," Acting FTA Administrator Therese McMillan said. "To administer this new $3.6 billion resilience grant program, Adam had to go from 0 to 60."

Hurricane Sandy damaged bus depots, tracks, tunnels, rail yards, operations centers, power stations and more as it disrupted the lives of travelers and local residents. The program was designed to provide funds to maintain the operation of transit systems despite any natural disasters.

"Adam was recognized for what I expect will be a career filled with advancing the public good," McMillan said. "I’m also confident that the FTA grants he helped set up will result in more resilient infrastructure and safer travel for the millions who traverse the Northeast Corridor."

At the time the Emergency Relief Program was implemented to create a team to repair as well as protect US transit infrastructure it had only received approval from Congress three months earlier.

During the ceremony honoring Schildge, infrastructure leaders cited the destruction caused by Hurricane Sandy in 2012 as a reminder of the importance of infrastructure and how the necessity of resilient public service during a crisis is important to the country.

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Federal Transit Administration

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