The Cherokee Nation announced the completion of a $9.5 million road project in southern Delaware County Wednesday.
The Cherokee Nation says nearly 10 miles of a dirt road connecting Kenwood and Twin Oaks in Delaware County is now paved. The project was funded by $9.5 million provided by the Cherokee Nation.
Cherokee Nation Chief Bill John Baker says the paved road will provide safer travel for tribal and non-tribal citizens who live in the area.
"Improving roads and maintaining bridges for citizens are an important part of what the Cherokee Nation government does. We are proud to make these investments in infrastructure upgrades because it improves the quality of life in Delaware County," said Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Bill John Baker.
"The Cherokee Nation maintains these kinds of strategic partnerships to ensure our communities remain safe for our families."
The road is also known as "Bull Hollow Road," and tribal officials said it had suffered from persistent problems including drainage and potholes.
In a news release, the Cherokee Nation said they work cooperatively with counties inside the tribal boundaries to repair and replace roads and bridges. In many cases, the Cherokee Nation purchases the materials and the counties provide the work.
The Bull Hollow Road project was funded under a federal program, so the Cherokee Nation managed this particular project from start to finish.
"I cannot say enough good things about our partnerships with the Cherokee Nation," said Danny Duncan, Delaware County commissioner for District 3.
"This new road helps not only Cherokees living in this area, but everyone in the county. It opens up a new route for commerce by better connecting these communities to Highway 412, and better connecting Delaware and Mayes counties. Bull Hollow Road was problematic for so many years, so this new road will have a tremendous impact on all of southern Delaware County."
Last year, the Cherokee Nation said it completed road and bridge projects in Cherokee, Delaware, Mayes and Rogers counties totally more than $17 million.
This year, the tribe says it plans to invest $11.8 million into road and bridge repairs in Adair, Cherokee, Delaware and Mayes counties.