Indian Reservation Roads

Department & Agency:

Department of Transportation

Administering Agency:

Bureau of Indian Affairs – Division of Transportation

Agency Contact:

Leroy Gishie, Chief of Division of Transportation
(202) 513-7711

Stimulus Funding:

$310 million

Eligibility and Type:

Indian Tribes – Formula Funding

Program Description:

The Indian Reservation Roads Program addresses transportation needs of tribes by providing funds for planning, designing, construction, and maintenance activities. The program is jointly administered by the Federal Highway Administration’s Federals Lands Highway Office and the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) in accordance with an interagency agreement.

Funding Guidance and Timelines:

Tribal recipients shall give priority to capital investments and to projects and activities that can be completed within two years of the enactment of this Recovery Act. One year following the enactment of this Recovery Act, the Secretary shall have authority to redistribute unobligated funds within IRR program.

General Provisions:

The Recovery Act requires that these funds are distributed according to the IRR negotiated formula under Title 23, Chapter 2. However, to ensure prompt use of the funds, after one year the Secretary also has the authority to redistribute unobligated funds. In particular, this may affect some tribes with small allocations under the IRR formula. The Recovery Act also provides that the Secretary may use up to 4% of the IRR funds for program management and oversight and project-related administrative expenses.

Bill language of the Act (found in BIA Construction, Title VII – Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies) provides that the General Provision section 1606 of the Act, which relates to wage rate requirements, shall not apply to tribal contracts entered into by the BIA with this appropriation.

Section 1610(b) of the Recovery Act allows the BIA to use existing self-determination contracting authorities with Indian tribes. However, it also requires the appropriate Secretary to “incorporate provisions to conform the agreement with the provisions of this Act regarding the timing for use of funds and transparency, oversight, reporting, and accountability, including review by the Inspectors General, the Accountability and Transparency Board, and Government Accountability Office, consistent with the objectives of this Act.” The Interior Department is required to develop an Agency-wide Recovery Act plan and identify how they will incorporate these provisions into tribal self-determination contracts used for Recovery Act funds, pursuant to the Office of Management and Budget’s a memorandum dated February 18, 2009 with initial guidance for the implementation of the Recovery Act (page 16).

Funding Notices:

Not available at this time.

Technical Assistance:

April 14, 2009: Powerpoint presentation, "ARRA Overview, FHWA Webinar" (.pdf)

April 14, 2009: Powerpoint presentation, "ARRA Reporting Requirements" (.pdf)

FHWA ARRA Guidance

Federal Highway Administration Recovery website

Guidance from FHWA, updated March 24th

FHWA guidance list