At the heart of the TTAP program are the Virtual Centers of Excellence (VCoEs), each dedicated to one of the following critical transportation topic areas:

  • Project Delivery

  • Maintenance and Operations

  • Safety

  • Planning and Procurement

  • Asset and Data Management

While there is no building or physical location, each virtual center provides an immediate source for focused technical assistance and training expertise, establishing direct lines of communication between tribal transportation needs and Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) with the capabilities to address those needs.

Each VCoE consists of SMEs dedicated to responding to all inquiries and requests within their particular area of expertise, no matter where their home base. SMEs are visiting every BIA region, bringing focused in-classroom coursework and technical assistance so participants can immediately apply this knowledge and skills in their workplace.

Project Delivery

The efficient delivery of transportation projects is critical to ensuring tribal communities have access to safe roadways that are planned and constructed with realistic timelines, environmental sensitivity, minimal delays and within budget. Positive outcomes depend upon productive contractor and agency relationships as well as good-faith contract negotiations, cost schedule management and agreed-upon quality control and project close-out.

Project Delivery Subject Matter Experts

Kim Johnson

Marc Shepherd

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Maintenance and Operations

The preservation and sustainability of existing and new roadways are critical to the ongoing safety and resilience of tribal highway infrastructure. Wear-and-tear and increased traffic movement in urban areas, as well as the unique physical characteristics of rural roadways, offer diverse challenges to tribal work crews. A comprehensive approach to constructing and managing these transportation environments includes preservation of the surface (such as asphalt and gravel), shoulders (such as elevation and erosion control), roadsides and structures (such as bridges, pipes, guardrails, signs and right-of-ways) and traffic-control (including work zone safety and temporary traffic control) to ensure safety and efficient traffic flow. Effective maintenance and operations depend upon sound administrative practices, operational budgets and resource allocation.

Maintenance and Operations Subject Matter Experts

James Bailey

Scott Johnson

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Safety on tribal roadways can be measured by reducing the numbers of crashes, fatalities and injuries. By fostering community awareness and promoting a multi-faceted approach to safety, tribal transportation organizations can target known safety issues, such as roadway departures, intersections and pedestrian safety, by implementing proven and innovative lifesaving countermeasures. Safety and crash data, along with road safety audits, provide the foundation upon which to make data-driven decisions. Low cost safety improvements, safety plan development, railroad-crossing improvements, signalized intersections and roundabouts are just a few of the initiatives that can be implemented to save lives.

Safety Subject Matter Expert

Todd Morrison


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Planning and Procurement

Transportation helps shape an area’s economic health and quality of life, influencing growth and economic development. Transportation planning activities provide Tribes with opportunities to evaluate their existing and future streets, highways, sidewalks, and bike lanes. These assessment activities include financial planning and incorporate critical components such as procurement standards and procedures. The transportation planning and procurement process – from public involvement to solicitation through contract award – incorporates cost estimating, project prioritization and an understanding of contract execution to conduct efficient and effective procurement processes that comply with all public funding source requirements.

Planning and Procurement Subject Matter Expert

Diann Wilson


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Asset and Data Management

Transportation asset and data management offers a strategic approach to managing physical transportation infrastructure assets throughout their lifecycle. A Geographic Information System (GIS) provides a common operating system, which allows end users an effective tool for the management, analysis and presentation of spatial information that communicates assets conditions, risks, needs and strategies. Utilizing modern tools/technologies such as Global Positioning Systems (GPS) allows owners to develop an inventory of highway features and document the maintenance condition of assets. This information provides the data needed to determine remaining life and value of assets. Combining objective prioritization of needs with a sound understanding of life cycle costs allows Tribes to develop a financially sound asset management strategy.

Asset and Data Management Subject Matter Experts

Mike Morgan

Kevan Parker

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Motor Vehicle Injury Prevention

Motor vehicle injury prevention is a vital part of safe tribal transportation environments. The TTAP Center’s Motor Vehicle Injury Prevention Program employs experienced injury prevention specialists (IPS) to bring safety training directly to tribal communities. With a focus on child passenger safety and safe seat belt use, significant strides can be made to reduce motor vehicle injuries and fatalities.

Learn more about the Motor Vehicle Injury Prevention Program

TTAP Injury Prevention Specialist

Kelly Powell

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