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White Mountain Apache Tribe


The White Mountain Apache Tribe has approximately 15,000 members that live on the 1.4 million acre reservation in Arizona. Total population on the reservation is approximately 20,000.

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Transportation System

There are approximately 1000 miles of roadways on the Ft. Apache Indian Reservation. There are also about 128 miles of state highways including State Route 73 in the northern part of the reservation that goes through the communities of Fort Apache and White Mountain. US 60/SR 77 runs from the Salt River Canyon and border with the San Carlos Indian Reservation to the intersection with SR 260, just north of the reservation border.

SR 260 is an east west route in the northeast corner of the reservation that goes through Hon Dah and McNary.

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Program Administration

The BIA Agency Roads engineer works closely with the tribe on transportation. The BIA has staff on the reservation and is responsible for the roads program and maintenance.

photo of BLA office

The tribal government has a Transportation Committee made up of tribal employees from different departments and one tribal council member. The Tribal government also employs one individual as a Tribal Transportation Coordinator in the tribal Planning Office. This individual is responsible for all transportation initiatives for the tribe.

BIA Ft. Apache Agency Road Office is responsible for maintenance and receives $450,000 for road maintenance. This office has a 6 person maintenance staff and equipment for maintenance of reservation roads.

The BIA Western Regional Office is responsible for the construction/reconstruction of BIA roads on the Reservation. The Tribe received, under TEA-21, an average of $3,000,000 per fiscal year. Under the Tribe's authorization, the BIA contracts commercially for the roads that are constructed/reconstructed on the Reservation.

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Maintenance Yard

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Water Trucks at Maintenance Yard

Planning and Proposed Projects

The BIA has a consultant contract to develop the long-range transportation plan for the tribe. The tribe has also proposed to use IRR planning funds for the planning of a bicycle and pedestrian project on the reservation. Transit is to be included in the 20 year plan for the tribe.

The Tribal Transportation Coordinator attend the Northern Arizona Council of Governments (NACOG) meetings. The tribe and BIA indicated that they would like to increase and enhance the relationship with Arizona DOT.

BIA 690

BIA 690 is scheduled for reconstruction in the Spring of 2004.

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BIA 690

McNary Project

The project in McNary will construct several dirt and gravel roads in residential areas. The project amount will be $1.3 million.

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Residential Streets in McNary

Projects Underway

BIA Road 69

BIA has a project underway to reprocess and stabilize the existing material on BIA 69, and chip seal the project. The project includes also includes design and survey work. The 8-mile project serves a fish hatchery and recreation areas.

photo of a road
BIA 69

Cooperative Projects with ADOT

SR 73 and SR 260

ADOT and the tribe worked together on a cooperative project on the intersection of two State routes. A Hotel, Casino, and restaurant, RV Park, and Gas Station are at the intersection of SR 73 and SR 260.

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SR 73 at SR 260

Turn Lanes

ADOT and the tribe have worked cooperatively on several projects on SR 73 and SR 260 for installing turn lanes.

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SR 260 Turn Lane Project

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SR 73 Turn Lane Project

Other Roadways

Several other highway, residential, and secondary roadways were visited on this review. Following are photos and descriptions of the roadway sections.

BIA 70

BIA 70 was noted for the recessed pavement markers on the centerline and edgelines of the roadway.

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Recessed Markers on BIA 70

Low Water Crossing

IRR funds were used to construct a project for a low water crossing and gabion walls.

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Low Water Crossing

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Gabions at Low Water Crossing

Residential Roads - Curb and Gutter

Projects done as a consolidated BIA project.

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Curb and Gutter Section in Residential Area

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Mountable Curb Section

BIA Road 1 and secondary roads

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BIA Road 1

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Typical Secondary Road

BIA Road 55

BIA has been working with ADOT on a project to collect and share safety data on BIA Road 55.

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BIA 55

Several roadways were visited at the reservation and some good quality roads were observed. There were also areas that reflect the needs of the tribes.

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Drainage and erosion area

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Erosion behind barrier

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Failed pavement section at curb and gutter

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Guardrail with substandard end treatment on BIA 55

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Substandard guardrail end treatment

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State Highways

SR 73

photo of a two lane road with a partial guardrail
SR 73

photo of a two lane road
SR 73

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SR 73 - 5-Lane Section

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Airport Entrance

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Airport Runway

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Issues and Needs

As part of the visit to the White Mountain Apache tribe, a meeting was held with a council member concerning transportation on the reservation.

The tribe currently has a transportation coordinator. The tribe would like to have a transportation director and additional staff for transportation and thinks that a tribal DOT could be a pathway for the future for the tribe. Training on developing a DOT and staff was suggested.

The tribe would like to maintain safer roadways and ensure safety is a priority. The tribe needs to develop data for crashes on the reservation.

Transportation program on the reservation need to look at the goals of the White Mountain tribe and include planning for a transit system. The tribe would also like to look at brining in projects from ADOT and other agencies.

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