INDIANAPOLIS – The Indiana Department of Transportation announced today, Oct. 3, that nearly $80 million in federal transportation funding is being awarded to 64 cities, towns and counties in rural portions of Indiana to invest in local road and bridge improvements as well as sidewalk and trail projects. Combined with local funds, almost $135 million is being invested in infrastructure in communities receiving funds.
“Over the last decade, Indiana has demonstrated a commitment to investing in infrastructure that is nearly unmatched,” Lieutenant Governor Eric Holcomb said. “Modern roads and bridges keep commerce moving at the speed of the 21st-century economy and sidewalks and trails help create the sense of place that sparks vibrant communities, which attract businesses and talent to the Hoosier state.”
For the first time, INDOT has set aside a portion of the funds awarded, approximately $5 million, to sidewalk improvements in rural communities. The new sidewalk program for smaller communities is part of INDOT’s “Common Paths” initiative. Common Paths unifies and implements the agency’s transportation programs and policies regarding planning and design, including Complete Streets, bicycles, and pedestrians. Also, INDOT is investing $2.5 million each year improving crosswalks and other sidewalk infrastructure along state highways in both rural and urban communities.
INDOT dedicates approximately 25 percent of its federal highway funds to supporting local projects each year. Metropolitan Planning Organizations distribute those funds to cities, towns and counties within the state’s larger urbanized areas while INDOT distributes funds outside MPO areas. Communities must pay at least 20 percent in local matching funds and meet other federal requirements to receive federal funding.
For this latest round of funding, rural communities will design, develop and purchase land for projects that would be bid during the fiscal year beginning July 2020. While the funds awarded now are dedicated to construction, INDOT will be financially participating in design, engineering, and right of way acquisition components of these projects.
Winona Lake will be receiving $953,235 for intersection improvements. A list of all communities receiving funds is online.
Rural communities were invited to submit project applications to INDOT for potential funding during a call for projects announced in March 2016.