Five Indian country projects in Washington state have been included in Federal Highway Administration grant funding for transportation-related projects.
All told, some $417.3 million in grants were awarded to projects nationwide. In Washington state, the grant total is $25.9 million; of that, $3.62 million is being spent in Indian country here:
- $1.6 million for a new boat and utility upgrades for the free ferry service operated by the Colville Confederated Tribes. The ferry service connects Inchelium to State Route 25.
- $1 million for construction of a traffic roundabout at Haxton Way, Northgate Road and Smokehouse Road on the Lummi Reservation.
- $714,466 for construction of a cultural rest area on the Kalispel Reservation.
- $229,920 for safety improvements on the Pacific Coast Scenic Byway on the Skokomish Reservation.
- $81,199 for interpretive signs along the Cape Flattery Tribal Scenic Byway on the Makah Reservation.
The largest investment is of interest to the Hoh Tribe, as it will affect salmon and steelhead that spawn in the Hoh River.
Some $3.4 million will be invested in a bridge 19 miles east of the reservation, where a culvert was damaged by flooding. The bridge will assure fish passage and stabilize the roadway, preserving park access, according to Rep. Norm Dicks, D-Port Angeles.
According to the Federal Highway Administration, states were invited in June to apply for federal funding from 14 grant programs. The administration received more than 1,800 applications totaling nearly $13 billion – more than 30 times the funds available.
In a statement announcing the awards, Federal Highway Administrator Victor Mendez said the grants will result in long-lasting investments will help create jobs.