STILLWATER, Okla. (AP) _ The Oklahoma Department of Transportation lacks money to repair the state's deteriorating roads and bridges, but the Sac and Fox Nation is helping fix the problem.
ODOT's state appropriation dropped 6.8 percent between 1985 and 2004, and ODOT Director Gary Ridley has said the department does not have enough money to take care of its maintenance backlog.
The Sac and Fox Nation is picking up the slack.
The tribe has paid $31.5 million to improve roads and bridges on its land, in three counties and in four cities since it started the Sac and Fox Nation Highway Safety, Road and Bridge Program.
The program exists to increase traffic safety and boost economic development.
Truman Carter, the nation's attorney and treasurer, said tribal money is pooled with federal, state and local government money to repair roads and replace unsafe bridges.
The nation has contributed to 22 road improvements and 37 bridge replacement projects in Pottawatomie, Lincoln and Payne counties and in the cities of Shawnee, Prague, Chandler and Stroud.