[r76] Roads-path to strong economy (8/16/2011)

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Start Date: 8/16/2011 All Day
End Date: 8/16/2011

Roads-path to strong economy

Road construction, we have all driven through it. Felt frustrated by it. Asked ourselves how can this take so long? Sometimes road construction can feel less like the construction of a road and more like the construction of chaos. 

 Keeping our infrastructure up-to-date is essential to the sustainability of our community, especially our economic future.  Advocating for more repairs to our roads has been a top objective of mine since taking office. I have worked hard to build a relationship with the Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) and make them aware of the roadway needs of Southwest Indiana.

I have also begun to understand the complicated process of a road construction project. From project approval, engineering, bidding, work commencement and work completion, it is an arduous process that involves everyone from the federal level all the way down to the local level.  

My goal has been to get in front of as many of the right people, either at the state level or the local level, to put our roadway needs in their thoughts.  This week, I will have another meeting with INDOT and local officials to review infrastructure needs and provide solutions to existing needs. 

Earlier this year, I met with INDOT to discuss the re-pavement of State Road 62, which has a estimated completion date of November 1st. This project showed me the immensity of work required to get a road project completed, from securing the necessary funds and   signatures, to engineering a plan and weather cooperation.

In addition to collaborating with INDOT and local officials, I sit on the Roads and Transportation Committee and now serve on the Joint Summer Study Committee for Transportation and Infrastructure Assessment and Solutions.

The interim study committee is charged with addressing many important issues such as projecting Indiana's transportation demands through 2035 and establishing appropriate roles and responsibilities for the state, county, municipal governments and the private sector in meeting Indiana's projected transportation demands.

Road construction will probably continue to give us headaches, but our cities and towns benefit greatly from these needed improvements. Even though road construction feels like chaos, INDOT has a system in place to ensure a project gets completed safely, correctly and efficiently. Throughout my tenure as a representative, I will continue to advocate for improvements to our infrastructure system in Southwestern Indiana, because I firmly believe these projects are necessary for the growth and advancement of our community.