[Federal Register Volume 65, Number 45 (Tuesday, March 7, 2000)]
[Pages 12026-12027]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 00-5405]



Bureau of Indian Affairs

Request for Projects Using the $18.3 Million Fiscal Year 2000 
Indian Reservation Roads Funds

AGENCY: Bureau of Indian Affairs, Interior.

ACTION: Request for applications and scope of work.


SUMMARY: The Department of Transportation Appropriations Act for FY 
2000 provided an additional $18.3 million for the Indian Reservation 
Roads (IRR) Program. Based on input from the Transportation Equity Act 
for the 21st Century (TEA-21) Negotiated Rulemaking Committee, we are 
requesting applications and scopes of work for IRR projects for the 
distribution of these additional funds. We will distribute the funds to 
federally-recognized Indian Tribes and Alaskan Native Villages based on 
a timely receipt of applications and scopes of work who have not 
completed adequate transportation planning within the last 5 years or 
that have deficient IRR bridges.

DATES: Applications and scopes of work supporting request for funding 
for projects must be postmarked by April 6, 2000.

ADDRESSES: You may submit applications including the scope of work to: 
LeRoy Gishi, Chief, Division of Transportation, Office of Trust 
Responsibilities, Bureau of Indian Affairs, 1849 C Street, NW, MS-4058-
MIB, Washington, DC 20240. Mr. Gishi may also be reached at 202-208-
4359 (phone), 202-208-4696 (fax), or [email protected] (electronic 




    The Department of Transportation Appropriations Act for FY 2000, 
Public Law 106-96, provided $18.3 million for the IRR program. These 
IRR program funds are in addition to those provided in the 
Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA-21) and are only 
provided for this fiscal year.
    There is an immediate and critical need to use these additional 
funds in support of transportation planning and infrastructure for 
Indian Tribes and Alaskan Native Villages. IRR are typically among the 
most poorly maintained roads in the nation, in great need of 
development and repair. This creates great difficulty in meeting 
everyday needs, such as getting students to school and access to 
medical and emergency treatment, as well as economic and community 
    In consultation with the TEA-21 Negotiated Rulemaking Committee, we 
have developed the procedures for distribution of these IRR funds this 
fiscal year.

What Comments on Funds Distribution Did You Receive?

    In a January 26, 2000 letter from the Tribal Co-Chairs of the TEA-
21 Negotiated Rulemaking Committee, we received comments on consensus 
reached by 25 tribal delegates and alternates. This letter delineated, 
from a tribal perspective, how the $18.3 million should be distributed 
to Indian Tribes and Alaskan Native Villages in support of the IRR 

What Is the Purpose of This Action?

    The purpose of this action is to prescribe the policies and 
procedures for making applications and distributing these additional 
IRR program funds for FY 2000.

What Is the IRR Program?

    The IRR program is jointly administered by the Bureau of Indian 
Affairs (BIA) and the Federal Lands Highway (FLH) of the Federal 
Highway Administration (FHWA). The IRR program governs the planning, 
design, construction and general administrative responsibility for IRR. 
The duties of each agency under the IRR program are set forth in a 
Memorandum of Agreement and the IRR Program Stewardship Plan between 
the two agencies. In general, BIA works with Indian tribal governments 
and tribal organizations to develop Transportation Improvement Programs 
which are submitted to FLH for review and approval. Each fiscal year 
FLH determines the amount of funds available for the IRR program. Then, 
FLH and BIA develop an IRR program funding plan for the fiscal year. 
Funds are allocated from FLH to BIA and distributed by the Secretary of 
the Interior (Secretary) for IRR projects on or near Indian 

What Are the Additional FY 2000 IRR Funds?

    These additional IRR program funds are provided as part of the 
Department of Transportation and Related Agencies Appropriations Act 
for FY 2000, Public Law 106-69. These funds are not part of other 
funding as authorized in 23 U.S.C. 204 or as distributed under 25 CFR 
170.4b (65 FR 7431, Feb. 15, 2000).

How Long Will These Funds Be Available?

    These funds are available for this fiscal year only. Any 
unobligated funds will expire at the end of the fiscal year.

What Are the Restrictions on These Funds?

    The Secretary is asking for proposals from all federally-recognized 
Indian Tribes and Alaska Native Villages for transportation planning 
and bridge design projects. Priority consideration will be given to 
those Indian Tribes and Alaska Native Villages which have not completed 
an adequate transportation plan within the last 5 years or that have 
deficient IRR bridges.

Who May Apply for the Additional FY 2000 IRR Funds?

    You may apply for the additional FY 2000 IRR funds if you meet any 
of the following criteria:
    (1) You are a federally-recognized Indian Tribe or Alaska Native 
    (2) You have not developed an adequate transportation plan in the 
last 5 years;
    (3) You have a deficient IRR bridge which needs to be designed for 
either rehabilitation or replacement; or
    (4) You are a BIA Regional office that has a direct service tribe 
within your region that meets the criteria in (1), (2) or (3) above.

[[Page 12027]]

What Is Transportation Planning?

    Transportation planning is the development of strategies for the 
design, construction, operation, and maintenance of transportation 
facilities for moving people and goods in a village, town, pueblo, 
rancheria, city, borough, county, township, parish, metropolitan area, 
Indian reservation, State, multi-State region, or country. The 
transportation planning process is a continuing and comprehensive 
analysis to the degree appropriate and is based on the complexity of 
the transportation needs. Transportation planning considers both the 
physical and financial needs to develop an adequate transportation 
system, the identification and inventory of the existing and proposed 
transportation system, and the identification of the transportation 
system's owners and users.

How Do I Determine if I Have Not Had Adequate Transportation Planning 
in the Last 5 Years?

    Your transportation planning has been inadequate if you have not 
developed an approved tribal Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) 
which is a multi-year list of IRR transportation projects, or your TIP 
is obsolete and does not reflect your current transportation project 

What Are the Criteria for Bridge Eligibility?

    To be eligible to receive funding, a bridge must:
    (1) have an opening of 20 feet or more;
    (2) be on an IRR road;
    (3) be unsafe because of structural deficiencies, physical 
deterioration or functional obsolescence; and
    (4) be recorded in the National Bridge Inventory (NBI) maintained 
by the FHWA.
    Bridges that were constructed, rehabilitated or replaced in the 
last 10 years are eligible for seismic retrofit or installation of 
scour countermeasures.

How Do I Apply for the Additional FY 2000 IRR Funds?

    Applicants must submit all of the following to be considered for 
these funds:
    (1) A letter of application.
    (2) A scope of work for the transportation planning activity in 
accordance with the current IRR Transportation Planning Procedures and 
Guidelines. The complete document can be found on the World Wide Web 
    (3) A scope of work for the engineering design of the eligible 
deficient bridge (a list of the eligible deficient bridges is available 
at the BIA Regional office). If more than one deficient IRR bridge 
exists, the scope of work for more than one bridge will be considered.

What Are the Funding Limits for Either Transportation Planning or 
Bridge Design Activity?

    The cost associated with transportation planning or bridge design 
activity cannot exceed $50,000 per project per tribe.

When Must Applications Be Submitted?

    Each eligible applicant must submit an application and scope of 
work to the address in the ADDRESSES section in this notice by April 6, 
2000 identifying each transportation planning or bridge design activity 
to be completed and its cost.

What Will Happen to Funds Not Distributed as Part of the Application 
Process and Requests for Funds Above?

    The Secretary will distribute the remaining funds not distributed 
or not obligated as described above in the same manner as the FY2000 
IRR funding, by the Relative Need Formula, as described at 65 FR 7431 
(Feb. 15, 2000).

    Dated: March 1, 2000.
Kevin Gover,
Assistant Secretary--Indian Affairs.
[FR Doc. 00-5405 Filed 3-6-00; 8:45 am]