At Thune’s Request, U.S. DOT to Fund Lower Brule Sioux Tribe Infrastructure Project

At Thune’s Request, U.S. DOT to Fund Lower Brule Sioux Tribe Infrastructure Project

“South Dakota has a strong partner in Secretary Chao, and I want to thank her for taking action so this important infrastructure project can move forward.”

WASHINGTON — U.S. Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.), chairman of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, which has jurisdiction over the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), released the following statement after Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao announced that the DOT has approved a $21 million Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grant to restore Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) Route 10 in Lower Brule. In October 2017, Thune wrote to Secretary Chao on behalf of the Lower Brule Sioux Tribe (LBST) to highlight how this project and the subsequent funding would positively affect the tribal community.

“I don’t need to tell South Dakotans that safe and efficient transportation is essential in our day-to-day lives,” said Thune. “In this case, ensuring BIA Route 10, which serves as the only direct road from Lower Brule to essential services in Pierre, including emergency response, health care, and education, is critically important to the tribal community.

“South Dakota has a strong partner in Secretary Chao, and I want to thank her for taking action so this important infrastructure project can move forward. I also want to congratulate Chairman Gourneau and the members of the LBST. I commend them for making this project a priority by submitting this request and pursuing its approval. This wouldn’t have been accomplished without their leadership.”

“The highly competitive TIGER program recognizes projects that will have a significant impact on a region, metropolitan areas, or our country as a whole,” said Secretary Chao.

As a result of a large sinkhole, BIA Route 10 was closed in 2016, which meant a substantial portion of the LBST lost access to its primary transportation route. These newly awarded funds will go toward resurfacing the roadway and installing new culverts and other roadway improvements.

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12 Replies to “At Thune’s Request, U.S. DOT to Fund Lower Brule Sioux Tribe Infrastructure Project”

    1. Anonymous

      Anne- don’t you normally rail against government handouts? In my opinion, it’s very hypocritical to rail against government handouts then clearly asking for a handout for one specific bridge.

      Reply
      1. Anonymous

        Apparently, it’s against the law for local citizens to just pitch in and build a bridge.

        I’m pretty sure it would have been replaced much sooner, at less expense, if that were not the case.

        Reply
        1. William Beal

          I actually brought that up at our township meeting last year and was told we had to “go through the process.”

          Reply
        1. Anonymous

          Extremely doubtful! It would be extremely difficult to fund this without State or Federal resources.

          Does the local community even have the equipment to build the bridge? The ability to navigate through the permitting process? Is there a designated revenue stream? Is there an alternate route for traffic and emergency services while a new bridge would be built?

          Just curious because you haven’t brought up any of these basic infrastructure requirements.

          Reply
          1. William Beal

            .There is no bridge there now, the old one collapsed.

            The delay is largely a result of the permitting and approval process.

            The Army Corps of Engineers could likely have put up functional temporary bridge in a matter of days while waiting nearly 3 years for a permanent replacement.

            Reply
            1. David Barranco

              Caesar bridged in the Rhine in 10 days. I’d wager the USACE could match that timeline west of Ward.

              Reply
          2. Anne Beal

            The old bridge collapsed in May 2016 and the road has been closed ever since. Last year a thaw flooded and closed the designated detour. Residents getting testy.

            Reply
            1. William Beal

              At this year’s township meeting we were told the bridge “should” be completed in November of this year.

              Reply

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