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First tribe receives recovery funds for tribal roads

WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood recently announced that the Ramah Navajo Chapter in northwest New Mexico is the nation’s first tribe to receive direct road repair funding as a result of the stimulus act.

The tribe will receive more than $644,000 from the Federal Highway Administration to help resurface nearly 10 miles of Ramah Navajo Route 25 – also known as Veterans Highway – on the tribe’s 168,000-acre reservation.

“These funds will make dramatic improvements to some of the most rural roads in the nation, while putting people to work in an economically-distressed area,” LaHood said.

“This project is a great reminder that investment in infrastructure is also an investment in people.”

Through the Recovery Act, $310 million is available for the FHWA’s Indian Reservation Roads program. Federally-recognized tribes are eligible to receive funding based on highway projects’ estimated construction costs, volume of traffic along the route and the tribe’s current population.