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Wind River Reservation, Wyoming

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Tribal leaders want the Federal Highway Administration to review a road project they claim is being poorly undertaken on the reservation. The Joint Shoshone-Arapaho Business Council have said the BIA and its contractor, Terricon, have not performed necessary testing and remedial work on six miles of road between Hines Corner and Ethete. Large percentages of samples of the road base were substandard, several tests revealed. Also, the testing did not take into account an unlined irrigation canal and high water table near the road. The bureau and Terricon have said the subgrade is adequate. U.S. Sens. Craig Thomas and Mike Enzi and Rep. Barbara Cubin, R-Wyo., forwarded the tribes' complaints and data to the Federal Highway Administration for review. The delegates also have asked the BIA to allow the tribes to appeal the road-testing decision. "This road is a vital route for emergency services and a vital east-west route that is important to the tribes' economic development efforts," the delegates wrote Assistant Secretary of the Interior Kevin Gover Aug. 25. The tribes said they were unfairly denied a contract to test the road themselves. They have a materials testing laboratory staffed by personnel certified by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials.

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