Transportation and Infrastructure

Core Spaces & The City of West Lafayette

One big project in the State Street development plan is a city council vote away from being shrunk.

The Hub – a mixed residential and commercial building – is being scaled back from 15 to 11 stories. The property developer, Core Spaces, petitioned the Tippecanoe County Area Plan Commission this week for the latter.

Core Spaces Chief Development Officer Eric Grimm says the decision came from market research.

Stan Jastrzebski / WBAA News

If construction crews now tearing up sidewalks along West Lafayette’s State Street hope to have the road open on campus within a month, there can’t be many more significant rainstorms.

That’s the word from the Joint Board of Purdue and West Lafayette employees overseeing the project.

West Lafayette Development Director Erik Carlson sits on the Board and says further severe weather could make it a challenge for the road to reopen in time for Purdue students to return to campus in mid-August.

Stan Jastrzebski / WBAA

Gov. Eric Holcomb rolled out a regionally-specific portion of the state’s five-year infrastructure plan Thursday during a stop in West Lafayette. The governor and INDOT officials say interstates and bridges will be hit hardest with orange barrels.

INDOT Commissioner Joe McGuinness says one of the big priorities is adding lanes to I-65 and I-70 – he says he’d like to see a minimum of three lanes run each direction.

McGuinness says overpasses are also targeted in the plan.

Gov. Holcomb Talks Five-Year Road Plan

Jul 13, 2017

Gov. Eric Holcomb announces the priorities for the next five years of road and bridge repairs. (Photo by Drew Daudelin)

Gov. Eric Holcomb talked Thursday about the first five years of a 20-year initiative to improve the state’s roads and bridges.

The plan would result in 10,000 miles of existing highways being resurfaced and about 1,300 bridges being repaired or replaced.

Holcomb says the initiative, called Next Level Roads, outlines about $4.7 billion in investments over the next five years.

courtesy Tippecanoe County Area Plan Commission

Tippecanoe County leaders will get a look Thursday at one of the first data-driven attempts at measuring cycling and walking in the community.

The Area Plan Commission will see a map showing more than 40 sites where volunteers have measured the volume of bikes and pedestrians.

APC Assistant Director for Transportation Planning John Thomas says it’s just a first step – more sites will still be surveyed – but it’s a way to keep lawmakers skeptical of building more bike-ped infrastructure engaged in the discussion.

courtesy Indiana House Republicans

State Representative Sally Siegrist (R-West Lafayette) has been named to the Midwest Interstate Passenger Rail Commission – a group advocating for train travel in the nation’s midsection.

It’s a position also held by Siegrist’s legislative predecessor, Rep. Randy Truitt (R-West Lafayette). And, like Truitt, she says she’d like to see more trains between Indianapolis and Chicago on a daily basis – but she admits there are challenges.

More than 800 people died on Indiana roadways in 2015 – slightly higher than the last five years.

Still, a National Safety Council report ranks Indiana 8th in the nation when it comes to policies that protect people on the roads.

Helping that ranking: Indiana laws address distracted driving, teen drivers, seat belt use and alcohol impaired driving. And the Indiana Governor’s Council on Impaired and Dangerous Driving helps fund extra DUI checkpoints.

INDOT

Indiana Department of Transportation officials pitched the department’s proposal for two new J-turn intersections in Logansport Tuesday night. But residents appear to want to put a halt to the idea.

Indiana Transportation Museum To Sue Port Authority

Jun 19, 2017

The Indiana Transportation Museum will sue the Hoosier Heritage Port Authority and the cities of Noblesville and Fishers for money lost when it was was ordered to close an historic stretch of track.

On one side, the Hoosier Heritage Port Authority and the cities of Noblesville and Fishers are concerned the Indiana Transportation Museum doesn’t have enough money to keep its tracks in working order. City officials from Noblesville and Fishers want to see the Nickel Plate tracks transformed into trails.

UPS announced plans this week to open a $260 million shipping hub in Plainfield by 2019 – one of the first big logistics investments to come after the state passed its road funding plan.

The repairs and upgrades that $1 billion-a-year funding package will fund with tax and fee increases are a big deal for companies that rely on roads.

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