The US Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) has announced almost $21m in grant awards for 88 projects to improve road safety on Tribal lands.

The $20.9m from the Tribal Transportation Program Safety Fund will pay for improvements including pavement markings, rumble strips and better pedestrian infrastructure.

“The crisis of traffic deaths on our nation’s roads stretches across the country, and that devastation is experienced at even higher rates in communities of Native Americans, Alaska Natives, and other indigenous peoples,” said US Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg. “The grants we are announcing through our Tribal Transportation Program will improve, repair, and modernize infrastructure in communities of all sizes on Tribal land, making roads safer and saving lives.”

The Tribal Transportation Program Safety Fund grant awards 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.
  • 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.