Monroe County will receive $10.5 million for infrastructure improvements
By IDS Reports
Monroe County will receive nearly $10.5 million in funding as part of the Indiana’s Next Level Roads initiative.
Governor Eric Holcomb and Indiana Department of Transportation Commissioner Joe McGuinness announced a $4.7 billion, five-year plan for spending on Indiana roads and bridges on Thursday, according to a press release from the governor’s office.
The initiative will resurface approximately 10,000 lane miles of pavement and repair 1,300 bridges. Funding will also be directed toward the I-69 project.
The five-year plan, which contained construction plans for preserving existing roads and bridges, finishing current projects and investing in Indiana’s transportation system, will be part of a longer 20-year plan.
Monroe County will receive just over $1 million in its first year of funding, beginning in 2018. The county will use the funding to target 79 lane miles and 2 bridges. Construction projects on State Roads 37, 45 and 46 will run from 2018 to 2020.
Morgan County, which contains part of Section 5 of the I-69 project, will receive $287 million as part of the initiative, according to the press release.
I-69 Section 5, which contains 21 miles of State Road 37 from Bloomington to Martinsville, will be addressed by the new initiative. $56,300,000 will be allocated to upgrade State Road 37 to interstate standards in Morgan County in 2018, according to the Indiana Department of Transportation website.
Another $68,700,000 will be allocated in 2019 to upgrade State Road 37 to I-69.
I-69 Section 5 was taken over by INDOT in June after repeat delays in its completion.
“Over the past couple of years, our area of the state has dealt with a significant amount of road construction,” Holcomb said in the press release. “These projects are part of an overall effort to improve safety on our highly traveled roads, prevent everyday wear and tear on vehicles, and promote economic growth. Through the historic investment made by the General Assembly this year, Morgan and Monroe counties will be receiving nearly $300 million combined to invest even further in our local infrastructure over the next five years. This funding will go toward projects along I-69, resurfacing crumbling roadways and rehabilitating local bridges.”
After the five-year plan concludes, the initiative will provide Indiana cities, towns and counties $342 million annually to continue work on local road projects.
“Our transportation network of roads and bridges plays a major part in Indiana’s success story both now and in the future,” Holcomb said in the press release. “With a fully-funded plan in place for the next 20 years, Hoosiers can rest assured that Indiana will remain the Crossroads of America for generations to come. I thank our lawmakers for their committed leadership to make this possible, and I commend INDOT for working hard to identify key projects so that we could be ready to roll with this five-year plan so quickly.”
The initiative will be funded by a bipartisan bill recently passed by the Indiana General Assembly 2017 session, HEA 1002. The bill provides for long-term infrastructure funding through a 10 cent per gallon increase on the gas tax. The tax increase went into effect July 1. The tax can be increased annually, but is limited to a $.01 each year, according to the HEA 1002 bill.
Registration fees at the BMV will also increase to $15 for standard vehicles, $50 for hybrid vehicles and $150 for electric vehicles.
After 2022, 60 percent of the revenue will go towards state projects, and 40 percent will go to local projects. The funding will also allow INDOT to study the possibility of tolling interstates in the future.
Like what you are reading? Support independent, award-winning college journalism on this site. Donate here.