INDOT adds projects thanks to fuel tax hike

By CANDY NEAL
cneal@dcherald.com

The Indiana Department of Transportation’s plan for future transportation improvements is being updated to add more projects for 2020 through 2024.

In Dubois County, that includes improving Sendelweck Curve, adding railroad crossing arms at the railroad track on County Road 600 West and 11 more projects.

The added projects in the State Transportation Improvement Plan will be funded with revenue from the increased fuel tax that was implemented two years ago.

“With the influx of money we got from HB 1002, we’ve added a ton to our program in the last year.,” said Jason Tiller, spokesman for INDOT’s Vincennes District, which includes Dubois County. “Since we’ve added so much, we’ve decided to do some more public outreach to let people know what we’ve added and what’s going on.”

The Federal Highway Administration requires the state to have a four-year plan and a public meeting on the plan is held every two years, with the last one being last year. Two meetings happening in the Vincennes District today and tomorrow are to alert the public of the additional projects.

One meeting will be today from 5 to 7 p.m. CT at Benjamin Bosse High School, 1300 Washington Ave. Evansville. The second meeting will be from 5 to 7 p.m. ET Thursday at Paoli Jr./Sr. High School, 501 South Elm St. Paoli.

Projects in the plan address safety, congestion, mobility and emergency matters; pavement and bridge improvements; and various modes of transportation including transit, pedestrian trails and bicycle facilities. The current State Transportation Improvement Plan runs from 2018 to 2021 and includes 27 projects in Dubois County. For instance, funding for Jasper’s walking path extension and Huntingburg’s Fourth Street Heritage Trail project are included in this plan.

The plan is being updated with more projects and extended to 2024.

“The STIP document is our plan of action,” Tiller said, “to show the federal government what we are going to do.”

INDOT is also updating its long-range plan, which establishes a vision for future transportation investments, examining critical trends, challenges and future-year needs to provide Hoosiers the highest level of safety and mobility possible to meet the needs of economic development and quality of life. That long-range plan is projected out to 2045.

The current State Transportation Improvement Plan and proposed update can be found at www.in.gov/indot/2348.htm. The long-range plan can be found at www.in.gov/indot/3714.htm.

Comments on the plans are being accepted online at www.in.gov/indot/3132.htm through May 17. Comments can also be emailed directly to the STIP director at draftstip@indot.in.gov.




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