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Can Navajo Infrastructure be Repaired?

Can Navajo Infrastructure be Repaired?
January 11
09:16 2020

Can Navajo Infrastructure be Repaired?

By John Christian Hopkins

It was poet Robert Frost who wrote of the road less traveled. Unbeknownst to him, many of those roads may be on the Navajo Nation.

Filled with ruts or potholes many reservation roads can be a challenge to navigate. But, fear not, help may be on the way!

If you live on the Navajo Nation your wretched road may be repaired – by 2136.

Yup, the year 2136.

Officials from the Navajo Nation Division of Transportation said it will cost nearly $8 billion to fix all the reservations in need of repair. But money is the easy part. Time is not on your side.

It would take 116 years for them to meet all the road repairs needed as of now.

So, if no new pressing transportation concerns arise, you can expect your road to be repaired by 2136.

Enjoy the wait.

Those figures are part of a $320 million bonding plan, according to the Gallup Independent.

The bond plan would include bridge repairs, pavement preservation projects, and earth road improvements. The Navajo Nation Council’s Budget and Finance Committee – which unanimously accepted the plan in December – expects to distribute funds evenly to five different road-maintaining agencies, officials said.

The plan identified $1.4 billion in needs to address pavement deficiencies and $6.5 billion for upgrades to the existing roadway systems.

There are more than 14,000 roads across Navajo land. More than 9,000 miles of those are dirt roads owned and maintained by either the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs or the Navajo Nation.

Also, there are 179 bridges; 38 are eligible for rehabilitation and 28 are eligible for replacement, officials said.

The transportation division receives about $68 million for transportation infrastructure from the Federal Highway Administration, the U.S. Department of the Interior, Navajo Nation general funds and fuel excise taxes.

 

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