State Funding Boosts Projects

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The Indiana Department of Transportation has announced $6.5 million for projects in two cities. More than $4 million is going to a street expansion in Carmel and the rest is being pumped into a street rebuild effort in Vincennes. April 25, 2014

News Release

INDIANAPOLIS – The Indiana Department of Transportation joined Carmel Mayor Jim Brainard and Vincennes Mayor Joe Yochum to announce local transportation projects that will be advanced using state funds under recent legislation. Carmel will use $4.2 million in state funds to expand Main Street near U.S. 31 and Vincennes will use $2.3 million to rebuild sections of 2nd Street.

“INDOT sets aside a portion of its federal highway funding each year for local transportation projects,” said INDOT Chief of Staff Troy Woodruff. “But over the years, federal laws and regulations have increased the time and tax dollars needed to improve Indiana’s economy and transportation safety.”

Passed by the Indiana General Assembly in 2013, House Enrolled Act 1067 allows INDOT to swap $1 in federal funds with 75 cents in state funds.

“When local units receive federal funding for transportation, there are often many strings attached,” said State Rep. Bob Cherry (R-Greenfield), who authored HEA 1067. “Under the federal exchange program, local units will be able to fund more road and bridge projects. This puts another tool in the toolbox for local government. It’s a win-win for both state and local units.”

The local government will bid projects approved for the program and project costs will be reimbursed by INDOT. The local government is responsible for paying at least 10 percent of the overall project cost, down from the 20 percent match required for federal-aid contracts.

Carmel Main Street

“The city of Carmel has shown what can be accomplished when local and state governments work together on its own projects, and this will continue with our Main Street project,” said Mayor Jim Brainard.

In 2007, INDOT turned over five miles of what is now known as Keystone Parkway so the city could transform the corridor by building six roundabout interchanges. Carmel used all city funds, including those gained from the road transfer, to accelerate the construction schedule and minimize land impacts.

As INDOT currently builds new roundabout interchanges along the U.S. 31 corridor, Carmel plans to expand and rebuild Main Street on either side to accommodate the increased traffic. The city’s Main Street project calls for new utility lines, curbs, gutters, storm sewers and sidewalks. The Main Street roundabouts that serve Illinois and Old Meridian streets will also be expanded to accommodate two lanes of traffic. The city may make improvements between Old Meridian and Guilford Road as funding allows.

Carmel will use the state funds to expedite the project, allowing it to be completed during U.S. 31 construction. INDOT will continue to be responsible for the U.S. 31 interchange, including the Main Street overpass between the ramps. Weather permitting, the city’s construction would begin this fall and conclude in the spring of 2015.

Vincennes 2nd Street

Vincennes will use state funds to accelerate a city street project that has been under development for many years. The city plans to transform a deteriorated section of 2nd Street between Main and Hart streets, which has not been resurfaced in more than two decades.

“As the oldest city in Indiana, Vincennes first established 2nd street in the 1800s and some of the original brick pavers are still under the roadway,” said Vincennes Mayor Joe Yochum. “State funds will allow us to overcome the hurdles of working in a historic area and begin construction two years ahead of the current schedule.”

Once environmental review and land purchases are completed, the city hopes to bid a contract later this year. The project will include paving, stamped concrete sidewalks, storm sewers and updated street lighting.

Funds for local projects

Local communities interested in building projects using state funds should first seek federal funds. INDOT is accepting applications through May 12 for projects to bid during the fiscal year beginning July 2017. More information is on INDOT’s website at www.in.gov/indot/2390.htm.

Projects that need to move quickly or have not been able to advance under federal rules are prime candidates for acceleration using federal funds.

“We wish our federal funds exchange program could be bigger, but it is limited by the state funds we need to match the federal dollars appropriated by Congress,” Woodruff said.

Source: Indiana Department of Transportation