Federal Highway Administrator Victor Mendez today joined the Eastern Shoshone and Northern Arapaho Tribes Joint Business Council to break ground on the $18.8 million 17 Mile Road reconstruction project that will make significant safety improvements to the roadway, which has the highest highway fatality rate in the state.
"Safety is our highest priority," said U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. "This project will make sure residents in these tribal communities can get where they need to go safely."
The improvements to 17 Mile Road, which is currently a paved wagon trail, will be made with the help of $8.2 million in 2011 Transportation Investments Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) funds, $10.2 million from the state and $430,000 from the tribes. The project will include widening the road's lanes and shoulders and incorporating rumble strips and guardrails. The road serves as the main transportation route for tribal residents for travel to commercial services and health care centers in Riverton, Wyoming.
"Seventeen Mile Road is a route of vital importance to the Eastern Shoshone and Northern Arapaho Tribes, who need a safe and efficient route to travel through the region," said Administrator Mendez. "TIGER funds have provided crucial funding to critical tribal projects throughout Indian country, and I am proud to represent the Obama Administration at this great example of the effective partnership between tribes, the state, and the Administration as we work together to create jobs while ensuring safety and mobility for future generations."