AASHTO Journal

FHWA Disburses $8.5 Million to 94 Projects for Tribal Transporation Safety Upgrades

U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx announced that 82 tribes will receive a total of $8.54 million for safety projects from the Federal Highway Administration's Tribal Transportation Program.

As with other grant programs, this one saw requests far outstrip available funds. The FHWA said it received 126 applications requesting a total of $27.1 million in assistance.

The program was created in the 2012 MAP-21 highway authorization law, and this is the second year the agency has awarded funds under it. Congress created the program, the DOT said, to improve highway safety on tribal roads and other transportation facilities, which statistically are "some of the most hazardous in the nation because of poor physical condition and other factors."

This year's award money will be spread among 94 projects, many of which are small grants of $12,500 each to develop tribal transportation safety plans.

Among the largest awards is $872,000 to California's Karuk Tribe to cover engineering costs for a pathway along a road.

The FHWA is sending $644,000 to the Makah Tribe in Washington for sidewalk improvements on the Cape Slattery Scenic Byway.

Montana's Fort Belknap Indian Community was granted $639,500 for pedestrian bridge improvements.

The Piaute Indian Tribe of Utah is receiving 480,000 for engineering costs of a pedestrian trail, and the Muscogee Creek Nation in Oklahoma gets $480,000 as well to engineer street intersection upgrades at a location in Okmulgee.

The La Jolla Band of Luiseño Indians in California was awarded $479,224, the FHWA said, "to better equip the tribe's emergency responders with supplies they need when responding to crashes or accidents on the winding mountainous roads in the area."

In Florida, the Seminole Tribe won a $360,000 grant for engineering of a highway safety project.

And the Fort Peck Assiniboine Sioux Tribes of Montana will receive $180,000 to pave Poplar Airport Access Road, which the FHWA said "is expected to improve response times of law enforcement and other first responders during emergencies."

Here is the complete list of this year's awards.

Questions regarding this article may be directed to editor@aashtojournal.org.

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