St. Joseph County will see more than $48 million ($25.4M to be spent in 2018) worth of road and bridge construction over the next five years as part of the Indiana "Next Level Roads" plan unveiled by Gov. Eric Holcomb.
The governor on Thursday morning announced the details for the first five years of Indiana's 20-year program to rebuild roads and bridges.
The plan includes investing $4.7 billion to resurface 10,000 miles of road and repair or replace about 1,300 bridges throughout the state.
The massive construction plan is being funded partly by tax increases that Holcomb and Republican state legislators made a priority this year.
During the legislative session that ended in April, a package that hikes more than 40 taxes and fees was approved. It includes a 10 cents-per-gallon increase in Indiana's fuel tax — hybrid owners will have to pay a $50 fee, while electric car owners will have to pay a $150 fee — as well as a new $15 vehicle registration fee.
State officials also expect that they will need to add tolls to some interstates in coming years to fully cover the construction plan.
More on the "Next Level Roads Plan" at in.gov
St. Joseph County, Approx. $48M
- Resurfacing 195 miles of road
- Repairing or replacing 50 bridges
Replacement of the Indiana 331 bridge over the St. Joseph River, north of Indiana 933
Deck replacement for the Indiana 23 bridge over the St. Joseph River, north of Indiana 933
Repaving of Indiana 331 from Jefferson Boulevard to Douglas Road
Read full article by Lincoln Wright in the South Bend Tribune
Impact of Plan on U.S. 31 Project
About two weeks ago, Hoosier motorists started paying 10 cents a gallon more in gasoline taxes. On Thursday, they learned exactly what the money is expected to buy five years down the road.
In St. Joseph County alone, the state has identified $48.2 million worth of work. Fifty bridges will be rehabilitated or replaced, while 195 new lane miles will be resurfaced.
The most expensive project in St. Joseph County calls for replacing the Capital Avenue Bridge over the St. Joseph River at a cost of $6.3 million, although the work that promises to be most significant to the local community may be taking place 100 or so miles away.
“What we saw in today’s plan was 78 projects that will invest about $83 million in the U.S. 31 Corridor,” said Jeff Rea, president and CEO of the South Bend Regional Chamber of Commerce.
While the recent construction of three U.S. 31 bypasses between South Bend and Indianapolis has made the trip a lot better, it’s still not perfect.
“We just want it to be a freeway so that you can get on and not have to stop unless you want to,” said John Letherman, president of the U.S. 31 Coalition. “There’s over 200 driveways that have direct access to the road yet, there’s 100 intersections, there’s still six stoplights.”
There are six stoplights and two railroad crossings that drivers encounter on a trip between South Bend and the state capital. The plan released Thursday would take care of two of those impediments: one stoplight and one railroad crossing. “Tipton County has two impediments right now...
Read more at WNDU.com