Cheyenne River Sioux tribe to study toll roads

EAGLE BUTTE, S.D. (KEVN/KOTA TV) - With deteriorating roads and a scarcity of cash to make repairs, the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe might turn to an old remedy … tolls.

Due to flooding in Spring 2019, the Moreau River damaged roads on the Cheyenne River Sioux reservation. (photo courtesy Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe)

The tribe is studying the feasibility of setting up toll booths on state and federal highway entry points to the reservation. The booths would generate revenue the tribe can use to repair failing transportation infrastructure.

Last year’s flooding seriously damaged tribal infrastructure and there is concern that the roads will further degrade once this spring arrives. Many of the roads are unimproved (gravel and dirt), making them more susceptible to damage from changing weather conditions.

“We need to take such action because of federal neglect in the infrastructure property,” tribal Chairman Harold Frazier said. “I have been all over Indian country and realize that the federal government is not interested in helping anyone so we have to do it ourselves.”

Currently, there are no toll roads in South Dakota. Here is a link to the U.S. code regarding toll roads.