The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) has announced $20.9 million in grant awards for 88 Tribal projects that are intended to reduce roadway fatalities and serious injuries on Tribal lands.
Transportation-related injuries and fatalities affect Native American and Alaska Native populations at greater rates than other demographic groups, according to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration data.
The Tribal Transportation Program Safety Fund grant awards for Fiscal Year 2023 will fund 29 safety plan projects, including grants for seven Tribes developing their first transportation safety plan, as well as the following:
- grants for 37 roadway infrastructure safety improvement projects, including $300,000 to the Coushatta Tribe of Louisiana for the design of safety countermeasures along CC Bel Road, a high-risk roadway where several roadway departure crashes have occurred, as well as at two intersections where crashes have taken place;
- grants for 15 data assessment and analysis activities-related projects, including $45,000 to Michigan’s Bay Mills Indian Community, which will conduct a road safety audit for pedestrian facilities in residential areas; and,
- grants for nine projects to reduce roadway departures, including $19,969 to the Native Village of Noatak in Alaska to apply countermeasures along roadway curves and at high-risk locations.
The President’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law provides the largest funding level ever for the Tribal Transportation Program, including the Safety Fund, by increasing the total authorized from $2.4 billion under the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act to $3 billion for Fiscal Years 2022 through 2026. The U.S. Transportation Department’s Safe Streets and Roads for All discretionary grant program also provides funding to Tribes to develop comprehensive safety action plans, projects and strategies that will prevent roadway deaths and serious injuries.
FHWA also provides comprehensive transportation training and technical assistance to Tribal communities through its Tribal Technical Assistance Program (TTAP), a discretionary program that is 100% federally funded. Under the program, several TTAP Centers have been funded by FHWA to serve the 12 Bureau of Indian Affairs regions and associated Tribes as they seek to access funding made available by President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, as well as additional Federal transportation funding opportunities.
To further assist the 574 federally recognized Tribes and their transportation needs, FHWA has developed Transportation Funding Opportunities for Tribal Nations, a brochure that provides information on new highway programs created under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law as well as existing highway and bridge transportation funding programs.