Sunday, December 17, 2023

$59,800,000 in grant money. Infrastructure grant coming to Navajo communities

Infrastructure grant coming to Navajo communities

The U.S. Department of Transportation awarded San Juan County $59,800,000 in grant money for U.S. Highway 64 improvements.

The grant was made possible by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.

“The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law continues to deliver funds to make sure New Mexicans have safe, reliable roads and infrastructure,” U.S. Representative Teresa Leger Fern├índez said in a press release. “I’m glad the Department of Transportation listened to the New Mexico Congressional Delegation when we asked for the necessary funds to repair Route 64 — a route the Shiprock community relies on every day and had been in dire need for repairs.”

The entire New Mexico congressional delegation, all Democrats, voted for the law.

The project aims to widen and improve 21 miles of the U.S. Highway 64 corridor that runs through Navajo communities, including Shiprock and Hogback.

Improvements include 12-foot lanes in each direction, rumble strips, paved shoulders of up to eight feet and better bus pull-outs.

The New Mexico Department of Transportation is expected to install safety elements around Navajo chapter houses such as pedestrian crossing, turn lanes and improved lighting.

Additionally, the state is expected to replace four bridges, and install fiber optic and cabling installation and about 50 corrugated metal culverts on the corridor.

“This major federal investment will help us make vital safety improvements on the roads and bridges that thousands of Shiprock residents rely on to access health care, education, and economic opportunities,” U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich said in the press release. “These roads are badly in need of repair. Thanks to the historic investments that President Biden and the New Mexico Congressional Delegation delivered through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, we are finally getting this done.”

This is the second year of the Rural Surface Transportation Grant Program which invests $2 billion through 2026 to improve rural infrastructure such as tunnels, bridges, highways and flexible transit services to Tribal and rural areas. The program can do so through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, according to a press release about the program.

San Juan County was one of 18 grantees announced Tuesday.For more information about the Program visit the U.S. Department of Transportation website.

Rudy Arredondo
Latino Farmers & Ranchers International, Inc.
Mobile: (301) 366-8200

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