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Heitkamp asks for road money for reservations

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WASHINGTON — More than 60 percent of tribal roads are unpaved and 27 percent of bridges on tribal lands are deficient, Sen. Heidi Heitkamp highlighted Thursday.

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Heitkamp, D-N.D., pressed federal officials during a committee hearing on federal transportation programs to improve roads and bridges on tribal lands, citing statistics from the Federal Highway Administration.

“All five North Dakota tribes continue to reinforce to me that they need help very soon to improve the crumbling roads and bridges in Indian Country,” said Heitkamp.

Highway safety has become a major concern on the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation, where energy development has led to increased traffic.

Heitkamp encouraged officials to consider the needs of tribal communities affected by energy development when considering applications for federal grants and programs.

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