TAHLEQUAH, Okla. — The Cherokee Nation is being awarded $200,000 by the U.S. Department of Transportation through the Tribal Transportation Program Safety Fund.

The grant will be used for Phase I of the Grand View Intersection Safety Project in Tahlequah.

The intersection of Grand View Road and Highway 51, a major artery to Grand View Elementary School, experiences congestion because of heavy traffic during peak hours and is the site for a number of traffic accidents, said Michael Lynn, Executive Director of Cherokee Nation’s Department of Transportation and Infrastructure.

“We’re not sure what all the project will entail just yet, but by using this grant award we will spend the coming months ahead completing a traffic movement study and then ultimately a final design that will be ready for future construction,” Lynn said.

The Cherokee Nation hopes to work with the Oklahoma Department of Transportation and the community on the project as Grand View School is home to a high population of Cherokee citizen students.

“Anytime we can improve the safety for our Cherokee citizens and all citizens who travel this route each day, we will pursue and take advantage of the opportunity, and we are glad to get this award from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration,” Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr. said. “This is also another example of the great work ahead under our compact through the Tribal Transportation Self-Governance Program.”

According to the Federal Highway Administration, transportation fatalities and injuries severely impact the quality of life in Indian Country. 

Each year under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, as enacted by the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, 4% of the available Tribal Transportation Program funds are set aside to address transportation safety issues identified by federally recognized Indian tribes through a competitive, discretionary program.

Projects are chosen based on whose outcomes will reduce fatal and serious injuries in transportation-related incidents, such as motor vehicle crashes. For a full list of awards click the link above.