Transportation and Infrastructure

Stan Jastrzebski / WBAA News

Indiana Department of Transportation officials say an unreasonable request led to Iowa Pacific Holdings removing itself from a deal to run the Hoosier State passenger train.

But Iowa Pacific’s CEO says a quirk in the contracts between his company, INDOT and Amtrak doomed the partnership.

Ed Ellis says his firm’s compensation from the deal decreased each time on-time performance improved.

“The way the contracts worked, we ended up getting less money as the train ran more on time,” Ellis says.

Putnam County Regional Airport

The Greencastle airport hopes to reignite local aviators’ interest in flying – and their interest in the municipal airstrip – by taking part in a national program Saturday.  

The Rusty Pilots Program, sponsored by the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA), is aimed at pilots who have fallen out of practice and want to reenter the industry.

 

https://www.flickr.com/photos/vilseskogen/5423363313

Even though a relatively mild winter has helped county highway departments save money on salt, it’s causing problems for Montgomery County.

Officials there have issued a travel advisory asking people to stay off gravel roads – mostly in rural areas of the county – for the rest of the week.

And highway crews are out fixing some which have become inundated with rain, causing potholes and soft spots.

“Right now they’re taking care of the complaints, which…just about every road’s a complaint right now," says  County Highway Director Jeremy Phillips.

MAP: Most Dangerous Intersections In Tippecanoe County

Dec 22, 2016
Charles Wagner / https://www.flickr.com/photos/chazwags/325170829

Changing traffic patterns in Tippecanoe County have changed how dangerous it is to drive on some roads.

That’s the key finding from new data released by the Area Plan Commission showing which intersections experience the most fender benders.

It’s no surprise the roads with the heaviest volume of traffic top Tippecanoe County’s ranking of intersections with the most significant injury crashes.

Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles

A new image will adorn Indiana’s standard license plate -- and it’s an icon of the state’s rural past.

The Bureau of Motor Vehicles unveiled three potential designs for the new plate in August: one featured the state outline with a torch surrounded by stars inside it; the second had a yellow banner on the bottom reading “Crossroads of America.”

The third, the most colorful, featured verdant scenery with a red covered bridge under the center of the plate.

Study: Odds Of Indiana Deer-Car Crashes Increasing

Sep 20, 2016
janielianne / https://www.flickr.com/photos/janieh/312404269

The odds of colliding with a deer while driving in Indiana are increasing, according to a study conducted by State Farm Insurance.

In 2016, State Farm says Indiana drivers are 5-percent more likely to collide with a deer than they were last year. The data is based on claims data from the insurance company.

Chris Morisse Vizza

Results are mixed one year into a two-year partnership involving the state, Amtrak, a private contractor and communities served by the Hoosier State passenger train.

The state’s goal has been to improve the route, attract more riders and generate more revenue to make the four-times-a-week round-trip service between Indianapolis and Chicago more self-sufficient.

WBAA’s Chris Morisse Vizza assess the progress thus far, and whether it’s enough to win continued funding from Indiana legislators.

Chris Morisse Vizza

Access to Lafayette’s Columbian Park at South Street will significantly change next year in an effort to make the three-way intersection with Park Avenue and Scott Street safer for pedestrians, cyclists and drivers.

Assistant city engineer Bob Foley says Scott Street will be closed permanently at South Street, eliminating the awkward angled junction with South just a few feet west of Park Avenue.

“It creates confusion with two roads intercepting at such a diagonal in such proximity to each other,” he says.

Lee Coursey / https://www.flickr.com/photos/leeco/

As if there aren’t enough orange construction barrels on Indiana roads, drivers should brace for more.

Repairing roads was the priority this year when state lawmakers voted to return local income tax dollars to cities, towns and counties across the state.

How The Cash Can Be Spent

Seventy-five percent of the money must be spent on roads.

Lawmakers allowed local governments to spend the remaining quarter of the money they’re getting back on a non-road project or to put it away for future use.

Stan Jastrzebski / WBAA News

With almost half the state’s funding for the Hoosier State rail line exhausted, leaders Thursday tried to rally support for increasing the frequency of the trains – even though they have no clue how they’ll pay for it.

A special train, run by Iowa Pacific between Indianapolis and Lafayette, sought to gin up interest for, as Iowa Pacific CEO Ed Ellis put it, as many as 15 trains a day along the route.

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