Civil Engineering ETDs

Publication Date



Historically, transportation systems have overcome physical and geographical barriers to provide a flow of people and commodities across nations. While geographical barriers have been overcome, political and institutional barriers still exist when multiple government stakeholders are involved in the transportation planning process. Such is the case on transportation projects affecting or of concern to tribal communities. Many states across the nation have taken initiative in implementing programs to aid in the creation of a collaborative environment among transportation agencies and tribal communities. One such effort has been the establishment of intergovernmental networks within states that create a working group of all stakeholders, including federal, local, state and tribal governments, to address transportation issues. This thesis investigates intergovernmental networks that have been formed to address transportation issues and how these networks create an environment of collaboration among transportation agencies and tribal communities. An interview study was conducted with transportation and tribal professionals across the nation. This interview study resulted in the identification of states in which intergovernmental networks were utilized as a transportation planning tool among stakeholders. Further investigation was then performed in states where intergovernmental networks have been established to identify how the intergovernmental network creates collaboration among project stakeholders. Relationship Building, Collaborative Frequency, and Leadership and Management Action, when engaged in an iterative cycle, were found to be the determinants of collaboration in the intergovernmental network. These results, background information leading to the research, and areas for future research are provided in the body of this thesis.


Transportation--Planning--Social aspects--United States, Transportation and state--United States, Tribal government--United States, Indians of North America--Government relations, Indians of North America--Politics and government, Intergovernmental cooperation--United States.


Transportation Research Board - National Cooperative Highway Research Program

Document Type




Degree Name

Civil Engineering

Level of Degree


Department Name

Civil Engineering

First Advisor

Migliaccio, Giovanni

First Committee Member (Chair)

Bogus Halter, Susan

Second Committee Member

Brogan, James