FHWA Announces $100 Million in Grant Awards, $125 Million in New Funding Availability for Nationally Significant Federal Lands and Tribal Projects
Native Village of Eyak in Alaska will receive $45.7 Million for the construction of a highway, dock support facilities and boat ramp at Shepard Point Oil Spill Response Facility
National Park Service in Mississippi will receive $54.3 Million to rehabilitate and improve the safety of an 83‐mile section of the Natchez Trace Parkway
WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) today announced $100 million in Fiscal Years 2020 and 2021 grant awards, funding two projects in Alaska and Mississippi, and $125 million in new funding availability for its Nationally Significant Federal Lands and Tribal Projects (NSFLTP) Program through a Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO).
The grant recipients announced today are as follows:
- The Native Village of Eyak in Alaska will receive $45.7 million in 2021 Fiscal Year funding to construct a highway, dock support facilities and boat ramp at the Marine Tribal Transportation and Shepard Point Oil Spill Response Facility. The grant will improve transportation access to the facility, which is currently under construction and will serve as a multi-modal transportation and oil spill emergency response center for tribal members and the broader community of Cordova and the surrounding area.
- The National Park Service will receive a total of $54.3 million in Fiscal Year 2020 and Fiscal Year 2021 funding to resurface, restore, and rehabilitate the pavement condition of 83 miles of the Natchez Trace Parkway in Mississippi, improve safety by installing audible pavement markings and meet the transportation needs of multiple underserved communities. When the project is complete, the National Park Service expects to have a significantly improved roadway along a stretch of a historic transportation network used by those going to and from the seventh-most visited National Park Service facility in the nation.
“Through President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, we’re now modernizing more of the infrastructure that creates opportunity in tribal communities, said U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg. “We’re proud to award today’s funding, and to make even more available for next year.”
These two announcements reflect the Biden-Harris Administration’s focus on serving Tribal communities. The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law made significant changes to the NSFLTP program by increasing annual authorizations from $100 million to $355 million and ensuring tribal transportation facilities receive 50% of the appropriated funds. Most noteworthy, Tribes can apply for funding at 100% federal share with no matching requirement, a historic barrier for Tribal access to infrastructure funding.
“Improving Tribal infrastructure supports economic growth and better connected, safer communities on Tribal land. The grants we’re providing to communities in Alaska and Mississippi, as well as the additional available funding, will help bring much-needed infrastructure improvements to underserved Tribal communities and on Federal lands,” said Acting Federal Highway Administrator Stephanie Pollack. “The Federal Highway Administration looks forward to continuing and growing these investments in infrastructure on Tribal lands in the years to come.”
The NSFLTP provides Federal funding for construction, reconstruction, or rehabilitation of multi-modal transportation facilities that are situated within, adjacent to, or provide access to Federal or Tribal lands. A project of national significance is typically one that is vital to the surrounding community. In many cases, federal land management agencies and tribal governments cannot afford to complete these projects on their own because it would exhaust their financial resources. These projects are considered important to the well-being of the area in which they are located and to the surrounding community. They support safe access to popular recreation destinations such as National Parks or provide critical transportation support for hospitals and schools on Tribal lands.
The Federal Highway Administration has worked closely with the National Park Service to improve infrastructure in and around national parks such as the Natchez Trace Parkway for decades. That partnership has grown since the 2020 passage of the Great American Outdoors Act, which provided funding to improve and expand recreation opportunities in national parks and other public lands.
The new Fiscal Year 2022 funding opportunity for Nationally Significant Federal Lands and Tribal Projects builds on the U.S. Department of Transportation’s efforts to improve the safety of the nation’s roadways for all road users. A key element of these efforts is the Department’s recently announced Safe Streets and Roads for All (SS4A) discretionary grant program that will provide $1 billion in Fiscal Year 2022 to support regional, local, and Tribal plans, projects and strategies that will prevent roadway deaths and serious injuries. The SS4A program supports the Department’s National Roadway Safety Strategy and goal of zero deaths and serious injuries on our nation’s roadways.
FHWA also recently announced a Tribal Transportation Program Safety Fund NOFO of up to $120 million for Fiscal Years 2022 through 2026, made possible by the President’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. To further assist the 574 federally recognized Tribes in addressing their transportation needs, FHWA has developed Transportation Funding Opportunities for Tribal Nations, a brochure that provides information on new highway programs created under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law as well as existing highway and bridge transportation funding programs. FHWA also has a Questions and Answers document for Tribes interested in undertaking bridge projects. The Department also has Navigator, a new resource to help communities understand the best ways to apply for grants, and to plan for and deliver transformative infrastructure projects and services.
The Fiscal Year 2022 Nationally Significant Federal Lands and Tribal Projects NOFO application period will remain open through October 24, 2022. Information on how to apply is available at https://www.grants.gov/web/grants/view-opportunity.html?oppId=343073