Up to INDOT Now to Finish What It Started!

Posted: Updated:

If you were one of the forty-four million people traveling over the 4th of July Holiday, you might have noticed a slight increase in your gas price. If you bought that gas in Indiana, a $.10 increase per gallon in tax went into effect on July 1 because of action by the Indiana General Assembly during their 2017 session.

The gas tax increase, together with some other fees, is aimed at generating up to an additional $900 million annually for the construction, maintenance, and upkeep of our roads and bridges.  The tax was last adjusted in 2003. No provisions for inflation had been made at that time. The proceeds from the tax increase will be split between the state and local government.

The long-term funding plan was one of the primary bills to come out of the last legislative session and found broad support amongst legislators, the governor, business groups and people across Indiana that recognized for the Indiana economy to thrive, good infrastructure is essential.

In recent years state and local officials have wrestled with how to keep up with the demands of our infrastructure system. Rising construction costs coupled with shrinking budget dollars had shifted most units of government into a mode of just maintaining what they had rather than thinking about new infrastructure needs.

Priorities like the completion of US 31 and I-69, as well as improvements to major Indiana transportation corridors like I-70, I-65, and US 30 were in jeopardy without a new funding source. The completion of US 31 has long been the top transportation of the business community. Business leaders up and down the corridor have worked closely with state and local officials for over twenty years to advance the priority.

The US 31 corridor is a lot different today than it was twenty years ago. State Legislators from our region along with Governor’s Daniels, Pence and Holcomb have made it a high priority and hundreds of millions of dollars have been invested in the corridor to eliminate bottlenecks, improve safety, and ensure the efficient flow of traffic between the State Capital and one of Indiana’s largest regional economies. They all should be thanked and commended for their efforts.

Though the progress has been terrific, communities along the corridor have yet to reach their full economic development potential because of the impediments that remain in the way. Six stop-lights and two railroad crossings (neither of which carry many trains) remain the major impediments.

Another hundred intersections and two hundred driveways stand in the way of limited access corridor. Attention now has turned to Marshall, Fulton, Miami, Cass, Tipton and Hamilton Counties where a majority of that work remains.

INDOT has long operated under the mantra that they should finish what they started and maintain what they have. We agree! The new revenue boost should position the agency to finalize a more specific plan for at least addressing the major impediments like the stoplights and railroad crossings. It also should give them sufficient resources to address key safety concerns like US 31’s intersections with SR 110 and SR 10. 

I’ve traveled I-69 and I-70, and agree both should be high on the State priority list. But I also believe it’s important that we not abandon plans to complete the US 31 corridor. We need INDOT to complete their plans, especially for the eight major impediments that remain.

Jeff Rea is chief executive officer of the South Bend Regional Chamber of Commerce.

  • Perspectives

    • Overseas Outsourcing Can Create a World of Problems

      The internet broke down geographic barriers for businesses, making it possible to find lower-cost suppliers around the world. But if companies lack the knowledge and skills to manage those suppliers properly, they may end up spending far more than expected. We’ve worked with companies all over the globe to help our clients meet their advertising and marketing objectives while protecting their budgets. While most of those working relationships have been positive, we’ve had...
    More

Subscribe

Name:
Company Name:
Email:
Confirm Email:
HTML
INside Edge
Morning Briefing
BigWigs & New Gigs
Life Sciences Indiana
Indiana Connections
INPower
Subscribe
Unsubscribe

Events



  • Most Popular Stories

    • Money magazine judges Fishers as 3rd best place to live in the U.S.

      Fishers Makes Top 10 List of 'Best Places to Live'

      Three communities in Indiana made the top 100 list of best places to live in the country, but only one made the top 10. Fishers was judged by Money magazine as the third best place to live in the United States, behind Clarksville, Tennessee and Round Rock, Texas.

    • New study reveals best place in Indiana for young families

      And the Best Place for Young Families Goes To...

      What do you look for in a community when deciding where to start a family and raise your children? There can be several factors to weigh in making a sound decision. Housing affordability. Unemployment rates. Quality of education. Mortage website Lendingtree.com has released the results of a study pointing to the best places for young families in Indiana.

    • ‘Potential’ Fueling Downtown Makeover in Fort Wayne

      As Fort Wayne prepares to christen its latest big downtown project, Mayor Tom Henry says there are no signs of transformational development slowing down in the state’s second largest city. The Landing, a $34 million downtown redevelopment project, is expected to officially open soon, one of an estimated 14 projects that Henry says can help Fort Wayne become a destination city. Since the opening of Parkview Field more than a decade ago, Henry says momentum has...

    • SupplyKick CEO to Run for Governor

      The chief executive officer of Indianapolis-based tech company SupplyKick has announced plans to run for the Democratic nomination for governor. Shelbyville native Josh Owens says he will focus on issues such as increasing teacher pay, along with accessibility and affordability of life-long learning for all Hoosiers.

    • 120WaterAudit Lands $7M in Funding

      Zionsville-based 120WaterAudit LLC has closed on a $7 million Series A round of funding. The company says it plans to use the funding to enhance its digital water cloud platform and expand sales and marketing efforts. The funding round was led by Indianapolis-based HG Ventures, with participation from Allos Ventures in Indy and California-based Greenhouse Capital Partners. 120WaterAudit's platform includes software and testing kits to help government agencies, public...