U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx announced today that 183 tribes will receive $8.6 million for 195 projects from the Federal Highway Administration's Tribal Transportation Program Safety Fund (TTPSF) to improve transportation safety on tribal lands. Secretary Foxx made the announcement today at the White House Tribal Nations Conference.
"Residents living in our nation's tribal communities need and deserve safe roads and bridges and we are committed to ensuring that everyone -- regardless of where they live -- has access to safe transportation," said Secretary Foxx. "These new funds will help improve the safety of roads in Indian Country for everyone who depends on them and will improve the quality of life for the tribal communities they serve."
The funds will be used for safety planning, engineering improvements, enforcement and emergency services, and education for tribal communities. This is the first year such funds have been awarded since the program's creation in the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21). FHWA received 240 applications requesting a total of $27.2 million in assistance.
Congress created the program under MAP-21 to improve highway safety on tribal roads and other transportation facilities -- statistically, some of the most hazardous in the nation because of poor physical condition.
Examples of the grant recipients include:
* The Cherokee Nation in Oklahoma will receive $525,395 to improve the Sequoyah Intersection Modification (SIM) Project with new signal lights, better signage and improved acceleration and deceleration lanes to reduce traffic accidents and improve traffic flow at the junction of U.S. 62 and Cherokee Street/Coffee Hollow Road.
* The Navajo Nation, spanning New Mexico and Arizona, will receive $294,407 for new software to improve the collection and sharing of electronic crash data.
* The Native Village of Chuathbaluk in Alaska will receive $100,000 for "Good Samaritan" shelters. This pilot project is designed to create safe havens with emergency supplies and heat for people stranded by vehicle breakdowns or impassable rivers along the Kuskokwim River near the remote villages of Chuathbaluk, Aniak and Napaimute.
* The Fort Belknap Indian Community in Montana will receive $12,500 for the development of a comprehensive tribal safety plan, which uses safety data to address long-term local transportation issues.
"Tribal leaders know the importance of road safety," said Federal Highway Administrator Victor Mendez. "From safety planning to data collection and repair work, these new funds will help them improve safety on tribal roads."
A complete list of the 2013 recipients, and additional detail about the program, can be found online at http://flh.fhwa.dot.gov/programs/ttp/.