Transportation and Infrastructure

I-69 Construction Now 8 Months Behind Schedule

Apr 13, 2016
Vegas Thornton / https://www.flickr.com/photos/vegast/395958569

Construction on the section of I-69 that connects Bloomington and Martinsville is scheduled to continue into 2017.

Section 5 of I-69 was originally slated for completion in October of this year. Now, completion is scheduled to be complete on June 28 of next year.

Tony Carpenter is the public information coordinator for Section 5. He says the 8-month delay stems from earlier problems.

“The project didn’t actually get started until 6 months after announcement,” he says. “It started a little later, so it shifted.”

Uwe Mayer / flickr.com/photos/intermayer/

The road funding bill signed into law last week could raise your taxes, depending on where you live in Indiana.

Forty-two counties already charge a vehicle tax.

But the road funding deal gives them room to increase the tax, and for the first time, cities have the power to impose their own wheel tax.

Seventy-nine cities are large enough – from Indianapolis to Plymouth- to be eligible for the tax.

John Perlich, spokesman for Fort Wayne mayor Tom Henry, says it’s too soon to say whether Fort Wayne will pursue the taxing authority.

INDOT Hopes New I-69 Section Will Reduce Crashes

Mar 29, 2016
Brian Hefele / https://www.flickr.com/photos/brhefele/6973020335

The Indiana Department of Transportation wants to build section six of I-69 along existing State Road 37.

The recommendation comes after the agency received nearly 1,000 comments on five proposed routes.

The recommended route for I-69 section six will run through Martinsville, along State Road 37.

INDOT says that path will save 11 minutes of driving time to downtown Indianapolis. The route is also expected to cause the largest reduction in crashes among the five options INDOT considered.

Brandon Smith / IPBS

Registration fees at the Bureau of Motor Vehicles will decrease for more than two million Hoosiers next year as a result of legislation Gov. Mike Pence signed into law Thursday.

Pence says his administration has been working for years to correct errors and problems at the BMV.  Those issues have generated lawsuit settlements and overcharge repayments that exceed $100 million. 

Pence says a huge step forward in solving those problems is legislation that streamlines the agency’s fee and registration system.

Brian Herzog / https://www.flickr.com/photos/herzogbr/

Gas prices have been on the rise for several weeks.

The state average in Indiana is now at $1.92 per gallon and that puts the Hoosier State right in the middle in the country -- with the 25th cheapest price.

Oil expert Trilby Lundberg says the reason prices have gone up steadily for several weeks is strictly a crude oil price issue.

“And this is pretty much penny for penny what crude oil prices have done,” Lundberg says. “Gasoline is following crude oil up.”

Rob Ketcherside / https://www.flickr.com/photos/tigerzombie/3874088349

A report from the Governor’s State Highway Association estimating the nation will see a 10 percent increase in pedestrian fatalities between 2014 and 2015 made waves earlier this month.

Data from the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute indicates the state saw nearly twice that increase in the same time period.

Richard Retting, who works for Sam Swartz Consulting and served as the lead author of the GSHA fatality report, says one would need to go back nearly 20 years to see similar fatality numbers.

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

Senate lawmakers and House Democrats pushed back Monday against those advocating for the House Republican road funding proposal and its two tax increases. 

Lawmakers heard about an hour of public testimony on road funding from local government officials and road construction industry representatives.  And the people who testified all say none of the plans offered this year provide a permanent solution. 

Jim Grey / https://www.flickr.com/photos/mobilene/

Legislative leaders meet with Gov. Pence Friday morning to begin final negotiations on how to pay for road repairs, and whether taxes will go up to do it.

Senate President Pro Tem David Long (R-Fort Wayne) is adamant the Senate won't go along with House Republicans' call to raise taxes on gas and cigarettes -- he says there needs to be a more thorough study of just what the state is building and the options for paying for it.

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

Senate lawmakers Tuesday advanced their compromise on the ongoing road funding debate. 

The Senate’s version of the road funding bill does not raise any taxes (unlike its House counterpart).  Instead, it would spend down the state’s surplus and give local governments more freedom to raise or create road funding taxes. 

It would also create a new task force compromised of lawmakers and state and local officials. Sen. Luke Kenley (R-Noblesville) says the task force will focus on transportation infrastructure needs and develop long-term funding solutions.

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

Senate fiscal leadership Thursday unveiled its attempt at a compromise in the road funding debate. The effort came in the form of a committee amendment that dismantled much of the House Republicans’ proposal.

The Senate’s action came one day after House Republicans inserted the entirety of their plan into a Senate bill, ensuring it would be kept alive in the process.  That’s because the Senate committee only kept small portions of the House plan in the proposal it unveiled. 

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