Rep. Arnold: Investing in our roads and bridges at the local level

Posted by: Peter Hoffman  | Monday, August 29, 2016

A top goal and accomplishment of the 2016 legislative session was to provide funds to local levels of government to improve the roads and bridges in their area. Our new law focusing on road funding established the state’s Community Crossings matching grant fund, which recently provided about $160 million to Indiana cities, towns and counties on a 50/50 matching basis.

INDOT recently announced 99 Southern Indiana cities, towns and counties were awarded $49 million through the fund. Projects that are eligible for funding through Community Crossings include road resurfacing, bridge rehabilitation, road reconstruction and meeting compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act in connection with road projects, such as sidewalk ramps. Material costs, but not labor or equipment costs, for chip sealing and crack filling operations were also eligible for funds.

All five of the counties, as well as several cities and towns within District 74, received grants for infrastructure projects. This means our local governments worked hard to prepare and submit successful applications over the summer that detailed their funding need and road projects.

Perry County received $422,859, Crawford County received $900,000, Orange County received $1 million, Spencer County received $1 million and Dubois County received $476,306 for road and bridge improvements. In addition, eight local communities were awarded grants, including Cannelton ($53,100), Dale ($81,582), Ferdinand ($362,219), Huntingburg ($1 million), Jasper ($1 million), Rockport ($83,953), Santa Claus ($113,612) and Tell City ($210,806).

This summer, a task force continues to study a long-term, sustainable solution to road funding. They will make recommendations to the 2017 General Assembly. One of our top priorities will be to create and implement a plan to fund our roads bridges for decades to come. Infrastructure is a vital part of Indiana’s economic growth and has an impact on communities, big and small, throughout the state. It’s imperative that we work together to deliver a comprehensive road funding plan to Hoosiers in the upcoming session. The grant money that was received by our counties, cities and towns is a great start and will immediately empower local units of government to address their specific infrastructure needs.

As we continue to lead Indiana forward, please contact me with questions or input at 317-232-9793 or by email at h74@iga.in.gov. Learn more about the work being done at the Statehouse by signing up to receive my email updates at www.in.gov/h74.

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State Rep. Lloyd Arnold (R-Leavenworth) represents portions of Spencer, Dubois, Perry, Crawford and Orange counties.

A high-resolution photo of Arnold can be downloaded by clicking here.