The grant was made available by the Public Lands Highways Discretionary Program, which is administered by the United States Department of Transportation. The purpose of the PLHD Program is to provide funding for transportation planning, research, and engineering and construction of highways, roads, parkways, and transit facilities that are within, adjacent to, or provide access to Indian Reservations and Federal public lands.
For many years, the Nation has been working closely with the New Mexico Congressional Delegation, including Congressman Ben Ray Luján, the Ranking Member of the House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Indian and Alaska Native Affairs, and Senators Jeff Bingaman and Tom Udall to seek Federal support to continue and complete road construction improvements on SR 537.
"I am very thankful to our New Mexico Congressional Delegation, Congressman Ben Ray Luján and our Senators Jeff Bingaman and Tom Udall, for their leadership and support in securing this important grant. The continued construction and improvement of SR 537 will be instrumental in strengthening our economy in the long term and providing much needed safety enhancements," said Ty Vicenti, President of the Jicarilla Apache Nation.
State Route 537 travels through the Jicarilla Apache Reservation from the south of Dulce, New Mexico, to U.S. 550.