Hoosiers will ‘see, feel’ results of $5B roads plan

INDIANAPOLIS (WANE) Get ready to see a lot more orange on Indiana’s roads after Governor Eric Holcomb laid out a nearly $5 billion road plan.

This comes after the price at the pump went up July 1 by ten cents a gallon, a gas tax increase to fix roads and bridges.

“Literally, the asphalt and concrete is being poured, and they are driving on it,” Governor Eric Holcomb said.

The state had already had money to work on projects, but on Thursday, Governor Holcomb said the extra gas tax money will help fund “Next Level Indiana.”

“This investment will equate to $4.7 billion, just under $5 billion into projects over the next five years,” Governor Holcomb said.

Here’s how the state plans to use the money. It will add 122 miles of lanes, and fix almost 1,300 bridges, and fix potholes by resurfacing nearly 10,000 miles of roads.

An outline Governor Holcomb believes will ease the pinch at the pump. “They’re going to see it, they’re going to feel it and they’re going to drive on it,” Governor Holcomb said. “That’s not just needed but that’s what Hoosiers expect and deserve.”

Republican lawmakers hope the visuals work. House Speaker Brian Bosma expects the gas tax increase will generate political pressure during next year’s primary.

“It will happen, I’m sure, but Hoosiers, everyone I’ve talked to, with a few minor exceptions, has been supportive of this,” Bosma said.

A road plan lawmakers say will cost Hoosiers nearly $80 more a year. An investment they said is needed to keep the “Crossroads of America” motto.

“Today, tomorrow, we’re fixing things, and we’re doing it now and we’re paying for it now,” Governor Holcomb said.

The initiative isn’t just getting a boost from the gas tax increase. Next year, Hoosiers will pay vehicle fees. And next fall, the state will release a study that could add tolls to Indiana’s roads.