Hualapai Tribe to receive $2 million grant to pave road to Grand Canyon West

The Hualapai Tribe will receive a $2 million grant from the Federal Highway Administration to help pay for paving a 14.1-mile stretch of road to the Grand Canyon West tourist attraction, a tribal official said.

"It's still in the process," said Alex Cabillo, public works director for the tribe.

"We were formally notified.

It is official."

The tribe plans to begin paving the stretch of Diamond Bar Road next summer, but has no idea how long it will take, Cabillo said.

The highway agency awarded $1 million to the tribe for the same purpose during the spring of 2000.

The road paving project will cost a total of $14 million, and the tribe plans to apply to the federal agency for an additional $7 million, he said.

Officials from the Federal Highway Administration could not be reached for comment on Wednesday.

The funding was made possible by the support from Arizona's delegation in Congress, U.S.

Sen.

Harry Reid of Nevada, the Arizona Department of Transportation, county government, the federal Bureau of Land Management and National Parks Service, Cabillo said.

The Hualapais sought the funding to improve access to Grand Canyon West and increase the number of visitors, he said.

It will be designed to accommodate vehicles driving 45 mph, whereas the current rough road can handle cars driving up to about 20 mph.

A better road could increase the numbers of visitors by at least 15 percent a year, Cabillo said.

Grand Canyon West drew 100,000 visitors two years ago.

The tribe also has plans to build a hotel at Grand Canyon West, he said.