Improving Indiana’s infrastructureIt is always a happy time when my family visits, especially to celebrate a wedding. I recently played hostess for my niece and her wedding party when she was looking for somewhere to hold her rehearsal dinner. I absolutely enjoy when family comes to visit, but since they have to drive a long way, transportation safety is a must.
Across the nation, after the long and harsh winter, you have probably noticed that the streets you take each day were badly beaten. Additionally, Indiana’s highways continuously accumulate typical wear and tear requiring essential upkeep. Necessary repairs and upgrades are needed so families and friends - like my niece and her fiancé - can safely visit, businesses can efficiently transport their goods and Indiana can uphold its title as the Crossroads of America.
To strengthen Indiana’s transportation system, House Enrolled Act (HEA) 1002 was passed this year. We placed a priority on improving and maintaining our roads, highways and bridges because we know how important our transportation infrastructure is to communities as well as Indiana’s economy.
In fact, the General Assembly has been working on key infrastructure changes for several years. By the end of 2012, 65 roadway projects were completed or substantially under construction, 48 new or reconstructed interchanges were accomplished and 720 bridges were rehabilitated or replaced benefitting all Hoosiers.
In that same year, the Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) received $71 million in funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, which was applied to improve our state’s roadways. Best of all, the improvements added no debt and resulted in no tax increases.
To protect one of our state’s biggest investments, we set aside funding in our biennial budget during the 2013 legislative session. Building on that progress, upon passage of HEA 1002 this year, $200 million has been allotted to support infrastructure in our state. This permits Indiana to maintain a superior statewide transportation system, a necessity to our state and local economies.
The Major Moves 2020 Trust Fund, which is primary source of funding for road highway improvements, supports Indiana’s current businesses as well as attracts companies looking to expand. We know businesses need a reliable transportation network, which is why we are working to keep our infrastructure strong.
Just last year, businesses transported over $500 billion in products using Indiana’s roadways. Distribution and logistics are crucial business functions and they depend on the capable infrastructure, so maintaining our roads supports job creation and benefits our workforce. Whether they transport goods for a living or work at a desk in the office, all businesses rely on roads to be successful.
By the end of 2015, this legislation will have allowed our state to resurface 6,350 miles of highways, which is nearly half of Indiana’s highways, while almost 20 percent of the state’s bridges will have been rehabilitated or replaced. That means, over the next year, Hoosiers will see $11 billion invested in Indiana’s infrastructure.
The Major Moves 2020 Trust Fund has a direct and positive impact on all Hoosier drivers, including you and me. So, as we drive to the store, to work or even long distances to visit family, know that work is being done to support our local roads, highways and bridges. These improvements and funding help keep all of those who utilize Indiana’s infrastructure safe.
Rep. Ziemke (R-Batesville) represents portions of Rush, Fayette, Franklin, Ripley and Decatur counties.