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State awards $1.6M+ to help drive local road projects

State awards $1.6M+ to help drive local road projects State awards $1.6M+ to help drive local road projects

Gov. Eric Holcomb and Joe McGuinness, commissioner of the Indiana Dept. of Transportation, recently awarded more than $1.6 million in state matching grants to local communities for road and bridge improvements, according to local lawmakers.

“The Community Crossing Matching Grant program is just one example of how Indiana continues investing in our infrastructure,” said State Rep. Karen Engleman, R-Georgetown. “Through this program, local communities can complete and prioritize much-needed road improvements projects while also focusing on promoting economic development and growing our community.”

Community Crossings is a component of the governor’s Next Level Roads program.

Through the Community Crossings Matching Grant program, 218 Hoosier cities, towns and counties received a combined total of more than $100 million. This program was established in 2016 and expanded a year later in 2017 through laws Engleman and State Rep. Steve Davisson, R-Salem, supported.

The Indiana Dept. of Transportation oversees and distributes these grants twice each year.

“Indiana remains in a strong place financially and can afford to help local communities make strategic investments in road and bridge projects,” Davisson said. “These improvements will help ensure our infrastructure is safe for Hoosiers, visitors and businesses.”

Harrison County received $1 million, and Crawford County received $160,717.50 for local road and bridge projects.

“Community Crossings is a major asset to Indiana cities, towns and counties as they build and modernize local roads and bridges,” McGuinness said. “The state’s funding partnership allows local partners to tackle larger scale project more quickly than would otherwise be possible, maximize their resources to complete more projects and achieve the best possible value for Hoosiers.”

McGuinness said Harrison County was one of a few applicants to receive the maximum amount of $1 million.

Harrison County Commissioner Charlie Crawford spoke, via Zoom, at the awards announcement, as did elected officials from two other communities that received funds.

“Harrison County has one of the biggest footprints in the state,” covering 487 square miles with 856 miles of roadways, Crawford said. “These funds have helped us immensely.”

To date, Harrison County has received $3 million in Community Crossings grant funds.

Crawford said past funds have allowed for 1-1/2 miles of improvements to the Corydon-New Middletown Road and six miles of Old Highway 111. This newest round of money will be used to improve 26 miles of various roads throughout the county, he said.

Local communities receiving funds in this latest round of grants were Alton ($74,805), Georgetown ($178,236), Lanesville ($138,847.50) and Milltown ($74,742.15).

State Rep. Stephen Bartels, R-Eckerty, said communities can use these funds for road and bridge preservation, road reconstruction, intersection improvements, guardrail replacements and signage.

Smaller municipalities must provide a 25% match in local funds, while large communities must provide a 50% match. Recipients must also submit an INDOT-approved asset management plan for maintaining existing roads and bridges.

State lawmakers identified long-term funding for Community Crossings as part of House Enrolled Act 1002, passed by the legislature and signed into law by Holcomb in April 2017.

“This funding helps communities finish projects ahead of schedule, make necessary road repairs and improve local infrastructure,” Bartels said. “The cost of road maintenance alone is incredibly high. Without these grants, towns and cities could decide to postpone projects or struggle to front the money to complete them.”

More than $931 million in total has been awarded throughout the state since 2016. State law requires that 50% of the available matching funds be awarded annually to communities within counties with a population of 50,000 or fewer.

“Superior transportation infrastructure — from interstates to local roads and everything connecting in between — make our communities safer attractive places to do business and create jobs,” Holcomb said. “Thriving communities, in turn, provide exceptional places for Hoosiers to call home and raise families. With that in mind, I’m so pleased to invest and partner with local leaders to deliver on high-priority projects that keep Indiana moving forward.”

More information about the program and recipients can be found online at in.gov/indot/communitycrossings. The next call for projects through Community Crossings will open in July.

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