Transportation and Infrastructure

USDOT To Assess Indianapolis' Transportation Efficiency

Oct 29, 2015
Paul Sableman / https://www.flickr.com/photos/pasa/5479955066

The U.S. Department of Transportation is gathering input in Indianapolis for a 30-year assessment of urban transit needs.

Indy is one of 11 stops on a tour by Transportation Department officials who are assembling the department's "Beyond Traffic 2045" report. The department says a growing population and an increasing number of cargo shipments mean the nation needs a long-term plan for increasing capacity, creating transit options for low-income Americans, and paying for it all.

raymondclarkeimages / https://www.flickr.com/photos/rclarkeimages/7919352252

A new report says freight in Indiana is going to double by 2035, and it offers a multi-pronged strategy to strengthen Central Indiana's logistics industry.

The Conexus Indiana Central Regional Logistics Council released its strategic plan Wednesday. The 30-year plan identifies dozens of infrastructure projects and public policy and workforce strategies needed to aid firms that specialize in hauling freight by road, rail, water or air.

Sebastian Chavez / https://www.flickr.com/photos/66626591@N08/

INDOT is testing something new on State Road 37 in Morgan County -- signs along that road that tell you how fast to go if you want to make the next green light.

As of now the signals are only located leading up to the State Road 144 intersection near Waverly.

INDOT spokesman Harry McGinity says the concept is rooted in safety and convenience, but that's only if drivers are willing to utilize it.

INDOT claims the signs make traffic more efficient by cutting down the number of drivers waiting for a light.

INDOT Investigating Work On Almost 200 Road Projects

Sep 29, 2015
Brian Hefele / https://www.flickr.com/photos/brhefele/6973020335

INDOT says a demand that a Fort Wayne contractor replace or pay for allegedly substandard asphalt isn't necessarily a sign of similar cases to come.

INDOT is testing asphalt on nearly 200 road projects performed by 44 different contractors, including additional projects by Brooks Construction of Fort Wayne.

INDOT Orders Construction Company: Repair Roads Or Pay Up

Sep 28, 2015
Lee Coursey / https://www.flickr.com/photos/leeco/

The Indiana Department of Transportation is asking a former contractor to either repave a stretch of Indiana highway that’s prematurely deteriorating or else reimburse the state the amount it paid the company in 2012. The demand comes as the agency looks into nearly 200 completed projects it suspects could contain subpar asphalt.

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A key legislator says a review of whether INDOT contractors have been using substandard asphalt could complicate efforts to increase highway funding.

INDOT instructs contractors to use recycled asphalt, and has been testing samples to see if the recipe is causing roads to deteriorate sooner than they should. Depending on how many roads fail those tests, it could cost the state as much as $71 million in extra repaving costs.

House Roads and Transportation Chairman Ed Soliday (R-Valparaiso) says he's "not super-concerned" about the issue:

Michael Gil / https://www.flickr.com/photos/msvg/4304094088

As Republicans and Democrats argue about the state of Indiana's roads and bridges, a nonpartisan report card is supplying ammo to both sides.

The American Society of Civil Engineers issues a 50-state report card every four years. The last one, from 2013, showed one in six major roads in Indiana in poor condition, the 18th-worst percentage in the country.

The 10-percent of bridges rated structurally deficient is the 22nd-worst.

However, the report card was issued two years ago and is based on data from three years before that.

A Ride Aboard The 'New' Hoosier State Line

Sep 16, 2015
Barbara Brosher / Indiana Public Broadcasting

Indiana’s Hoosier State Line is in its second month under a new operating agreement that promises to provide better service and more amenities to train riders.

After months of negotiations – and talks that dragged on longer than expected -- the state Department of Transportation reached a deal with Amtrak and Iowa Pacific to continue service on the line for at least the next two years.

Indiana Public Broadcasting’s Barbara Brosher took a ride on the train recently to see whether anything has changed, other than the cars and the engines.

State, INDOT Exploring How To Fund 2016 Road Projects

Sep 8, 2015
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Legislators and Gov. Pence have said they expect an "infrastructure session" next year. But they're still working out how to pay for those projects.

INDOT officials and legislators have warned for years that increased fuel efficiency is reducing the gas tax revenue that has traditionally paid for road maintenance.

Senate Appropriations Chairman Luke Kenley (R-Noblesville) says he doesn't think increasing the tax is the way to make up for it -- he notes electric vehicles don't pay fuel tax at all, and says a funding solution should involve contributions from all vehicles.

INDOT

Drivers were greeted Sunday by a welcome sight -- signs hanging above Interstate 65 proclaiming the highway's northbound lanes now open to traffic moving between Indianapolis and Chicago. 

INDOT closed the interstate's northbound lanes around Lafayette several weeks ago after unsafe conditions were reported on a bridge over Wildcat Creek.

During construction, workers had inserted piles into the sandy soils below. The piles had pierced an artesian well beneath the bridge, making the soil to bubble up and causing the bridge to tilt. 

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