I-65 Lafayette Widening The First To Use New Road Funds
April 3, 2014 — TheStatehouseFile.com
INDIANAPOLIS – Widening Interstate 65 south of Indianapolis and at Lafayette will be the first projects constructed using additional road funding the General Assembly approved last month.
Gov. Mike Pence announced the projects Thursday in what he called the launch of the Major Moves 2020 highway construction program.
Pence ordered the State Budget Committee to release $200 million to be used for state highway construction and expansion projects.
Pence announced the projects planned to be undertaken with the funds. They are:
- I-65 between Indiana 44 near Franklin and Southport Road in Indianapolis
- I-65 in the Lafayette area from Indiana 38 to Indiana 26
The funding comes from legislation that passed the General Assembly, which allotted half of the $400 million lawmakers had previously set aside explicitly for highway construction. The remaining $200 million can be released to the Major Moves program, but only after the release of a revenue forecast next December and consent from the State Budget Committee.
“Roads mean jobs, and Major Moves 2020 will improve Indiana’s transportation infrastructure and enhance our position as the Crossroads of America,” Pence said.
The governor’s office predicts the money will support 9,800 Hoosier jobs, if the full $400 million is released – which Pence’s office predicts will happen as well.
The money will provide work for construction workers from the highest bidding firm, but not necessarily create new jobs.
House Ways and Means Chairman Tim Brown, R-Crawfordsville, and Rep. Ed Soliday, R-Valparaiso, who co-authored the bill, were in attendance at the event as well as House Speaker Brian Bosma, R-Indianapolis.
“Transferring up to $400 million to improve and expand major infrastructure in our state translates into thousands of jobs for Hoosiers,” Bosma said.
“I am pleased we were able to deliver on our promise to improve Indiana’s transportation system this session while remaining fiscally responsible,” he said. “Indiana is the Crossroads of America, and we made strides this session to maintain that prestigious reputation.”
If the revenue forecast is optimistic and the State Budget Committee authorizes the transfer of the second $200 million, there are three projects the state will undertake.
- I-65 in the Lafayette area from Indiana 26 to Indiana 25
- I-69 from Indiana 37 in Fishers to Indiana 13 in Madison County
- I-65 from Sellersburg (exit 9) to Memphis (exit 16) in Clark County
“As you travel around the state there is a lot of excitement about what’s happening in Indiana’s economy,” Pence said. “I think all the fundamentals are there and today’s legislation (means) that we are going to see $200 million flowing into this economy in ways that are going to put more Hoosiers to work and make Indiana even more attractive for the kind of investment that’ll ensure that not only the state revenue is growing, but the income of every Hoosier family is growing as well.”
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