Samish Indian Nation receives $760,000 federal grant to improve roads and transportation safety
Samish Indian Nation
The Samish Indian Nation was awarded $760,000 in federal funding last week through the United States Tribal Transportation Program (TTP) Safety Fund. Samish is one of six Washington tribes awarded funds to address transportation safety issues in and around tribal communities.
The funding will support construction of a three-legged roundabout at the intersection of State Route 20 and Campbell Lake Road on South Fidalgo Island. The Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) will lead the project to implement a practical solution at a precarious intersection and improve safety and access to Samish trust land near Campbell Lake. The heavily used intersection has seen a 20% increase in traffic in the past five years and is just southwest of recent corridor improvements at Sharpe’s Corner and Gibraltar Road.
“Samish is delighted to receive this award to improve our roads and increase safety for our community,” said Tom Wooten, Chairman of Samish Indian Nation. “We’ve been looking to improve this busy intersection for more than three years and are thrilled to soon begin construction. Both the Council and the community should celebrate this achievement as upholding the safety of our roads, which is critical to preserving the Tribe’s connection to its community.”
The Tribal Transportation Program Safety Fund designated more than $8.9 million in 2020 to more than 80 federally recognized American Indian Tribal Nations. The award to Samish was the third-largest grant, accounting for about 9% of total funds available.
"From safety planning to sidewalks and road repairs, these funds will play an important role in enhancing the safety and accessibility of transportation infrastructure on Tribal roads," said Federal Highway Administrator Nicole Nason in a press release issued by the U.S. Department of Transportation.
The roundabout project is estimated to total $3.2 million. The project will also be funded with $657,400 allocated through the Skagit Council of Governments from federal Highway Infrastructure Program and Surface Transportation Program funds.
About the Samish Indian Nation
The Samish Indian Nation is the successor to the large and powerful Samish Nation, a signatory to the Treaty of Point Elliot in 1855. Linguistically and culturally, the Tribe is grouped as Coast Salish and traditionally speaks a dialect known as “Straits Salish,” rather than Lushootseed dialect that is common to other neighbors in the region. The Tribe’s Traditional Territory historically stretched over a wide area from the Cascade mountains to the far western shores of the San Juan Islands.