On July 15, 2014, the Tribal Council broke ground for the TIGER III Project in front of the Lucky 7 Casino’s Fuel Mart.
The Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) III funding will improve highway safety through Smith River.
“We want to make it more livable and walkable for everyone so that pedestrians and bicyclists are sharing the road in a safe and visible way,” Smith River Rancheria Tribal Council
The Smith River Tribal Council broke ground on a $3 million dollar safety corridor project that will allow for safer travel for pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorists along a 4.1 mile stretch of Highway 101 from the town of Smith River to the turnoff to North Indian Road.
Smith River Rancheria was awarded a $3 million “TIGER III” transportation grant from the United States Department of Transportation to address safety concerns along Highway 101 as it runs through tribal lands. Planned improvements include colorized, stamped shoulder treatments along existing roads, new signage and lighting, and other related small-scale upgrades. This project is the first step in a long-term process of increasing safety along a stretch of roadway from the Dr. Fine Bridge in Smith River to the Oregon border; this area has been designated a safety corridor by California Transportation Department.
Construction will take place starting at Rowdy Creek and Highway 101 and will move north for 4.1 miles and include the intersection of Highway 101 and North Indian Road. The council’s research shows that the improvements are necessary to increase the safety of those living in the area.
While the Tribal Council is excited about the planned improvements, it plans to continue the work along the corridor once TIGER grant funds are expended. According to Chairperson Miller, “this project is an ongoing effort, once we finish with this section of roadway, we hope to make improvements throughout the safety corridor.”
The Smith River Rancheria is one of only four tribes to be awarded a TIGER III grant in 2013 and will be unique in that the tribe will be utilizing force account laborers along with local contractors to complete the project.
Chairperson Kara Brundin Miller stated, “It’s a neat concept that we get to build this