Indiana gives $150M for road projects

JASPER, Ind. (WANE) Nearly 400 Indiana cities, towns and counties will receive a combined $150 million in state-matching funds for local road projects through the Next Level Roads: Community Crossings Initiative, Governor Eric J. Holcomb and INDOT Commissioner Joe McGuinness announced Wednesday.

More than 50 of those cities, towns and counties are in northeast Indiana, according to a list released Wednesday afternoon amid a series of presentations being held around the state with local, state and business officials to highlight award-winning grant applications. The town of Churubusco will receive $829,000 and the town of Columbia City will receive $828,000. Allen County, the city of Fort Wayne, Whitley County and the town of Topeka will each receive $670,000, the state said.

“Superior local roads are a key factor in maintaining Indiana’s reputation as the Crossroads of America,” Holcomb said. “I am encouraged that a record number of communities applied for and received funds this year, and I’m grateful to lawmakers for increasing the funding to sustain the community crossings initiative.”

In just its second year, the Community Crossings Initiative has awarded nearly $300 million in state matching funds to local governments for road construction projects. This year, 467 communities applied for funds – a 48 percent increase from 2016 – making this year truly competitive.

“Across Indiana, local communities are recognizing the need to invest in fixing and improving their infrastructure,” said McGuinness. “The projects funded today will help build smoother roads and stronger bridges in every corner of the state.”

Community Crossings was created by the Indiana General Assembly in 2016. Funds for the program are awarded from the state’s local road and bridge matching grant fund. To qualify for funding, local governments must provide local matching funds, 50 percent for larger communities or 25 percent for smaller communities, from a funding source approved for road and bridge construction.

They must also submit an INDOT-approved asset management plan for maintaining existing roads and bridges.

State law requires annually that 50 percent of the available matching funds be awarded to communities with a population of 50,000 or fewer. State lawmakers identified long-term funding for Community Crossings as part of House Enrolled Act 1002, passed by the legislature and signed into law by Gov. Holcomb in April. INDOT estimates $190 million in matching funds will be available for local communities in calendar year 2018.