Transportation and Infrastructure

Mike Mozart / flickr.com/photos/jeepersmedia/14319904578

A Purdue agricultural economist is projecting gasoline prices will remain low this summer.

Wally Tyner says there’s usually a bump in price for the summer months, but an industry surplus has kept crude oil around $50 a barrel.

“What that did is it gave the U.S. shale oil producers enough profit margin to increase their production,” he says. “Their costs have fallen 30-percent in the last three years.”

Tyner says the increase in shale oil production – now up to 600,000 barrels a day – should balance out OPEC’s 1.2 million barrel cut by the end of the year.

Road construction season is underway, and after state lawmakers allocated more money for local roads, House Speaker Brian Bosma says communities should see a big season.

“We want them to start smelling asphalt in July,” Bosma said after unveiling the road funding package in April.

Indiana’s local communities will receive at least $200 million for roads and bridges in the state’s new infrastructure funding package.

Uwe Mayer / flickr.com/photos/intermayer/

Small-town West Central Indiana commissioners say they’re happy about changes made to a state-issued matching grant intended for infrastructure work.

At a meeting in Crawfordsville Monday with Department of Transportation officials, Vermillion County Commissioner Tim Yocum said one of the new requirements – an asset management report – won’t require counties to hire pricey consultants.

“Most counties save $20,000, $30,000 or $40,000 by utilizing their own people,” Yocum says. “It seemed like the state was really trying to work with us to make this happen.”

A who’s-who of Midwest business leaders met in Indianapolis Thursday to talk about their stake in fixing updating the nation’s aging transportation system.

Many say Indiana’s plans for road repairs should stand as a national, multi-modal example.

Ports of Indiana CEO Rich Cooper, who helped host the roundtable discussion, says the state and national economies rely on more than ships and barges. Changes at one part of the system, he says, have huge ripple effects on the rest.

As places such as East Chicago, Indiana, grapple with lead contamination, they face a challenge for after cleanup: how to redevelop and revitalize once-toxic neighborhoods.

In Evansville, community leaders have used decades of remediation to their advantage.

In what was once the most-contaminated part of the city’s Jacobsville Neighborhood Superfund site, a vacant lot sits waiting.

“So as we’re standing here right now, we’re standing where Garfield Commons will be,” says Chris Metz, assistant director of Evansville’s ECHO Housing Corporation.

Chris Morisse Vizza / WBAA News

Contractors who’ve begun demolition on the easternmost portions of West Lafayette’s State Street redesign now want permission to close the busiest intersection on the road for a couple nights in early May.

West Lafayette City Engineer Ed Garrison Tuesday received approval from the city’s Board of Public Works for two noise ordinance exceptions so the corner of State Street and River Road could be shuttered for underground pipe to be laid.

$1.2 Billion Road Funding Package Sent To Governor

Apr 24, 2017

 

The state legislature has sent Gov. Eric Holcomb a $1.2 billion-a-year road funding package, fulfilling a session-long pledge from all four legislative caucuses.

The road funding package generates money in several ways, including gasoline tax hikes and BMV fees, providing $340 million per year to local roads and $870 million for the state.

Senate Minority Leader Tim Lanane criticized the larger scope of the bill, raising gasoline taxes while cutting taxes for casinos in the state in a separate bill.

Sarah Fentem / WBAA

The Lafayette City Council Monday approved the first reading of a new ordinance aimed at preserving the city’s remaining brick streets.

The ordinance would require the city to re-pave and restore brick streets with brick, rather than concrete or asphalt.

Only nine stretches of brick street remain in Lafayette, mostly clustered around downtown and in the city’s Southwestern Highland Park neighborhood.

The first phase of the reconstruction of State Street is due to begin Monday, and that’ll mean changes for bus riders in West Lafayette. CityBus employees and riders alike are trying to see the closure of one of the city’s busiest streets as a blessing in disguise.

CityBus officials have planned detours for the company’s routes that use State Street. Development Manager Bryce Gibson says he hopes the detours are an opportunity for people who hadn’t previously been using public transportation to start.

Stan Jastrzebski / WBAA News

Nearly two years after a distracted driver hit and injured a cyclist on Harrison Bridge between Lafayette and West Lafayette, an ad hoc committee is finally close to realizing its goal of launching a bike safety campaign.

Lafayette Community Development Project Manager Margy Deverall says public comments collected from an online survey now underway will help shape the informational campaign to make drivers, cyclists and pedestrians more aware of each other.

Pages