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About Tribal Transportation

What is Tribal Transportation?

Tribal Transportation is the government-to-government relationship between the Department of Transportation and Tribal governments regarding roads, paths, and bridges which impact land use, culture, economic, social, and/or environmental quality of life for the area covered by a proposed plan.

Tribal Transportation includes the design and development of the project plans; the competitive bidding process for the different contracts associated with the plans; the construction of the plans; and the management and maintenance of the project.  All of these components are needed for the building, fixing, or maintenance of roads, bridges, bike paths, and trails.

Why do we have Tribal Transportation?

Like any other communities, Tribal communities need adequate roads, paths, and bridges for access to health care, employment, schools and other services.  Tribal Transportation programs are a coordinated effort between tribes and transportation providers to meet the needs of often isolated Tribal communities by using the most efficient and cost-effective method.

What is the history of federally-required transportation planning for roads leading to and within reservation boundaries?

On May 22, 1983, the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) entered into a Memorandum of Agreement to include planning for Indian reservation roads so that an agency can receive money for these projects.

Who gets the money to implement the Tribal Transportation program?

Money granted for Tribal Transportation comes from two main sources: the U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA).

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To provide Feedback, Suggestions or Comments for this page contact Tim Penney at tim.penney@dot.gov.