- Briefing Room
In 1982, Congress recognized that providing access to surface transportation technology, technical assistance and training to local public agencies (LPA) was necessary and created the Rural Technical Assistance Program (RTAP). The Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act (ISTEA) legislation in 1991 renamed this program the Local Technical Assistance Program (LTAP) and created the Tribal Transportation Assistance Program (TTAP). The TTAP was designated to build the capability of the 573 federally recognized tribes to manage their highway assets by providing training and technical assistance. TTAP is funded under FHWA’s Training and Education programs. The legislative authority to deliver the TTAP is contained in 23 U.S.C. 504(b).
The Local Technical Assistance Program (LTAP) assists local highway agencies in each State to meet the challenge of maintaining and rehabilitating roads and bridges and learn about best practices and innovative technology to meet local needs. There are 51 LTAP Centers—one in each State and one serving Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. Eleven States operate their LTAP Center within the State DOT; the remaining State DOTs contract this function outside of the DOT, predominantly at academic institutions. While the LTAP requires a 50 percent non-Federal match, many States elect to contribute more than 50 percent for LTAP.
The Tribal Technical Assistance Program (TTAP) provides comprehensive transportation training and technical assistance to tribal communities, building skills and expertise to ensure the safety and maintenance of tribal roads. The TTAP is a discretionary program that is 100 percent federally funded.
The U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration has announced cooperative agreements re-establishing regional Tribal Technical Assistance Program (TTAP) Centers. The centers will assist Tribal communities as they seek to access $3 billion in Tribal Transportation Program Funding made available by President Biden’s infrastructure package, as well as additional Federal funding opportunities.
FHWA’s move from a centralized technical assistance model – headquartered in a single, centralized location under a two-year pilot program – back to a regional technical assistance model responds to the input of Tribes gathered in 13 listening sessions over seven months, and input from Tribal stakeholders through a Federal Register Notice Request for Information. These conversations illuminated the diversity of needs across the wide range of geographic, topographic, and climate conditions that exist across Indian country.
The regional centers will ultimately serve the 12 Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) regions and associated Tribes and meet the transportation training and education needs of Native American communities, building skills and expertise to ensure the safety and maintenance of Tribal roads.
The announcement is a critical step to re-establish regional TTAP Centers. Those awarded TTAP Centers are listed below:
|Regional TTAP Centers
|Associated BIA Regions
|TTAP Center Awards
|Eastern TTAP Center
|University of Wisconsin- Madison (UW-M)
|Southern TTAP Center
|Oklahoma State University (OSU)
|Southwestern TTAP Center
|Lenea Corporation (LC)
|Northern TTAP Center
|North Dakota State University (NDSU)
|Western TTAP Center
|TBD - Update below
|Northwestern TTAP Center
|University of Washington (UW)
|Alaska TTAP Center
|University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF)
In October 2022, FHWA awarded the Western TTAP Center to the National Indian Justice Center, Inc. (NIJC) serving Tribes in the Pacific and Western BIA regions. However, the NIJC has requested to close out this agreement with FHWA due to challenges with restructuring and capacity to deliver TTAP services. FHWA anticipates closeout of the agreement to be completed by August 2023, at the request of the NIJC. FHWA LAS will be coordinating with neighboring TTAP and LTAP Centers, State Departments of Transportation, other partners for support of Tribes in the Western TTAP Center region during this period of transition. As the Western TTAP Center is re-established, FHWA Local Aid Support (LAS) resources including online training remain available at no cost.
FHWA LAS seeks to reestablish a Western TTAP Center as soon as possible with the readvertisement of the Western TTAP Center Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) anticipated by announced by the end of October (end of the 2023 federal fiscal year) 2023. An informational webinar will be planned within two weeks of the NOFO announcement and an anticipated award in early 2024. That NOFO will be available at www.grants.gov and include additional information and program requirements.