Transportation and Infrastructure

Dan Paluska / https://www.flickr.com/photos/sixmilliondollardan/3382932556

An Indiana University sociology professor will spend the next month campaigning to kill the USA Patriot Act, after she says her personal liberties were violated because of it.

Christine Von Der Haar says she and a friend from Greece were detained at Indianapolis International Airport and Customs and Border Control agents told the pair it was because the government had been monitoring e-mails between the two.

Bill Shaw / Indiana Public Broadcasting

The Indiana Department of Transportation has new leadership after Commissioner Karl Browning stepped down without any public warning Wednesday.

Browning has led INDOT since 2013, and previously served as Commissioner from 2006 to 2009. 

Browning submitted his resignation via email to the governor Wednesday morning, saying he was proud of his accomplishments but that it was, “time to move on.” 

Stan Jastrzebski / WBAA News

Indiana Department of Transportation officials have reached an agreement in principal with the Federal Railroad Administration to keep the “Hoosier State” Amtrak line running indefinitely.

The line, which has faced no fewer than four threats of closure in just the past six months, was set to cease operation at the end of this month if a deal wasn’t reached.

Chris Richards / https://www.flickr.com/photos/chrismrichards/1525185825

Indiana Democrats say Hoosiers need answers about BMV overcharges.  Their calls for an investigation come after new reports suggesting top officials knew about the overcharges long before the BMV halted the practice. 

A story in the Indianapolis Star alleges top BMV officials were told of the overcharges – which could amount to as much as $100 million – years before the state revealed them to the public. 

James Britton / https://www.flickr.com/photos/jbritton/2830693569

An end to service on the Hoosier State passenger rail line could throw a wrench into public transportation advocates’ hopes for a funding increase in the state budget. 

Transit advocates Tuesday used a day they'd been planning for weeks to highlight the problems that could wreak on the affected communities.

The House Republican budget proposal included a $6.4 million dollar in public transit funding -- $6 million of which was meant for the Hoosier State Rail Line. 

Stan Jastrzebski / WBAA News

Indiana Department of Homeland Security officials have issued a travel advisory for Tippecanoe County because of increasing snow cover on local roads.

An "advisory" is the lowest of three levels of concern the state uses. It means anyone on the roads should use caution. As of midday Sunday, several Indiana counties had advanced to the "watch" level, which means that nonessential travel should be curtailed.

Stan Jastrzebski / WBAA News

It’s fairly common knowledge that more well-traveled roads will see plows before residential streets do – it’s a function of trying to keep an entire city’s streets from becoming snarled with snowbound traffic.

But there’s more that goes into the equation which decides what streets receive salt and the edge of a plow blade first.

And it starts with making sure the plows can get on the road. At the West Lafayette street garage, Doug Perkins is using an ice pick on the salt spreader of one of the city’s plows.

Brandon Smith / Indiana Public Broadcasting

Governor Mike Pence says he wants the State Budget Committee to release the second half of the Major Moves 2020 fund. 

Two years ago, lawmakers put $400 million into what they called the Major Moves 2020 fund.  It was meant for long-term, future projects. 

Pence last year secured the release of half of the fund to add lanes to major interstates.  The governor Tuesday announced he will ask the State Budget Committee to approve the transfer of the remaining $200 million.  He says it will be used for capacity building.

Indiana ABATE Founder Takes An Off Ramp From The BMV

Dec 30, 2014
Danie van der Merwe / www.flickr.com/photos/dvdmerwe/3016084095

The state’s longstanding contract with the group Indiana ABATE to provide motorcycle safety training is set to lapse – because ABATE no longer wants to abide some of the Bureau of Motor Vehicles' practices.

Executive Director Jay Jackson says he disagrees with charging unlicensed drivers – many of whom are veterans or teenagers – more (almost $200) to take the safety course than other drivers are charged (about $75).

Brian Hefele / https://www.flickr.com/photos/brhefele/6973020335

The Indiana Department of Transportation Wednesday provided the State Budget Committee with a sobering look at the state’s future infrastructure maintenance costs. 

Indiana’s bridges were built to last 75 years -- and half are at least 50 years old. 

INDOT Commissioner Karl Browning says about 7-percent are in what he calls “poor condition” – not that they’re unsafe, just that it will cost a lot to fix them. 

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