Column: More State Dollars For Local Roads Than Ever Before

Sunday, October 27, 2019 at 9:45 AM

By State Rep. Randy Frye (R-Greensburg), column

State Rep. Randy Frye (R-Greensburg) says more than $850 million has been spent this year alone to improve Indiana roads.

(Indianapolis, Ind.) - Well-paved roads, strategically networked together, help Hoosiers do business and stay connected. Through the Indiana Community Crossings Matching Grant Program, Indiana is investing in our local infrastructure at an unprecedented level. In fact, we have increased local road and bridge investments by 76 percent since 2016, with more than $850 million devoted to roads and bridges across the state this year alone.

Community Crossings is a partnership between the Indiana Department of Transportation and our local towns, cities and counties. Local governments leverage their own dollars for projects they have planned, and the state provides the additional funding to make these projects happen much sooner. This year, during the two rounds of grant awards, our communities received more than $13 million through this transformative program. These funds are going to 14 different cities and, and six of our local counties. This includes Aurora, Batesville, Greendale, Lawrenceburg, Madison, North Vernon, Osgood and Rising Sun, with each one receiving more than $500,000. Dearborn, Decatur, Jennings, Jefferson, Ripley and Switzerland counties have each received more than $750,000 this year.

Our communities secured these coveted grants by making a financial commitment to provide local matching dollars. These critical funds further boost our road projects. To ensure communities of every size have an opportunity to receive a matching grant, the state asks smaller communities to contribute a smaller percentage of the match, compared to bigger cities. In addition, with an amendment I authored, at least half of the funds through Community Crossings are required to go to either counties of less than 50,000 people or towns with less than 10,000 residents. This was an important step to help drive your hard-earned dollars back to our smaller communities, rather than having most of these funds funneled to the bigger Hoosier cities.

By spreading funds throughout Indiana, and here at home, we are further promoting economic development, boosting jobs and strengthening our transportation network. This program is proving to be a winner for many communities, big and small. More than 400 communities have received grants since Community Crossings began. The next call for projects opens in January, and officials interested in applying should visit IN.gov/INDOT to learn more.

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