Infrastructure Kickoff

Infrastructure Kickoff

A Look Inside the Next Level Roads Initiative
By Nick Dmitrovich

With greater connectivity comes greater opportunities – good news for Hoosier companies, because a whole lot of new and improved roadway connections are rapidly headed our way. If the positive association between infrastructure spending and economic boosts holds true, then everyone should be paying attention, because the state’s about to take a major turn toward growth.

Earlier this year, in our annual finance issue, Building Indiana took an in-depth look at what was then proposals for Indiana House Bill 1002, which was created as part of an effort to help close the funding gap within the state’s major roadway infrastructure needs. At the time, 97 percent of Indiana counties, cities, and towns were reporting their revenues were inadequate to maintain current roads, and reports from the Funding Indiana’s Roads for a Stronger Safer Tomorrow Task Force reflected an additional $1.2 billion per year funding shortfall existed for annual road preservation and maintenance costs.

In April, HB 1002 was signed by Governor Holcomb and is now in effect throughout the state. It’s bringing in additional revenue for roads in several ways, specifically:

  • Fuel tax rates have been increased by $0.10, averaging to about $5 per month per driver,
  • Alternative fuel decal fees have been increased by 50 percent,
  • A $15 transportation infrastructure improvement fee has been applied to all motor vehicle registrations,
  • Supplemental registration fees of $150 have been added to electric vehicle registrations,
  • And more.

With the new influx in cashflow, the state moved very quickly to begin setting project financing in motion. In July, just about 10 weeks after the bill had been signed, the governor’s office and the Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) announced the Next Level Roads initiative, which is a lengthy series of construction plans for the first five years of the new 20-year program to improve Indiana’s roads and bridges.

During the announcement, Gov. Holcomb said, “Our transportation network of roads and bridges plays a major part in Indiana’s success story both now and in the future. With a fully-funded plan in place for the next 20 years, Hoosiers can rest assured that Indiana will remain the Crossroads of America for generations to come. I commend INDOT for working hard to identify key projects so that we could be ready to roll with this five-year plan so quickly.”

This plan for the first five years of Next Level Roads outlines specific INDOT projects that will preserve existing roads and bridges, finish current projects, and invest in Indiana’s overall transportation system. The plan outlines approximately $4.7 billion in total investment over the next five years—resurfacing nearly 10,000 lane miles of pavement and repairing or replacing approximately 1,300 bridges.

Beyond this initial, five-year investment in state (INDOT) projects, the initiative provides an additional $342 million annually to support Indiana cities, towns, and counties for local road projects by 2024.

“This much-needed and massive investment means there will be many road construction zones, slower traffic, and orange cones and barrels in every part of our state,” said INDOT Commissioner Joe McGuinness. “The long-term benefits gained in safety, mobility, and growth outweigh the short-term inconveniences, because the results will be reduced congestion, smooth highways, improved safety, and better roads and bridges across Indiana for residents and visitors alike.”


Let’s Look at the Projects

INDOT has publicly released a massive list of all of its projects for the first five years of the Next Level Roads initiative, broken down on by county levels. Every single county in the state is going to be experiencing infrastructure construction under this plan, although some will be seeing considerably more than others based on traffic patterns and maintenance needs. In order to comprehensively provide a breakdown of some of the highlights, we’ve selected several counties to examine that will be among the higher-volume areas for development.

The state has provided colorized maps containing a breakdown of the types of projects listed as follows:

  • 20 Year Major Mobility = These are large-scale projects intended to enhance mobility throughout the state of Indiana.
  • 2016 Community Crossings = The Community Crossings program provides funding to cities, towns, and counties across Indiana to make improvements to local roads and bridges.
  • LPA Projects = Local Public Agency Projects, selected by local authorities based on specific transportation needs.
  • Additional colors indicate bridge projects or road projects based on the year they’re going to be implemented.


Statewide map

5-Year Statewide Investment Total: $5,112,851,378

Investment by year:
2018 $1,031,965,168
2019 $971,149,402
2020 $971,103,013
2021 $984,877,408
2022 $1,153,756,387

5-Year Statewide Impact:

  • 122 lane miles added
  • 9,628 lane miles resurfaced
  • 1,295 bridges rehabbed or replaced

Source: INDOT

Lake County

Lake County Map

5-Year Lake County Investment Total: $146,635,191

5-Year Impact:

  • 310 lane miles resurfaced
  • 61 bridges rehabilitated or replaced
Notable Projects: 
$5M Bridge replacement on US 41 about 2.8 miles north of US 30
$5M HMA overlay on US 51 from US 30 to US 20
$3.8M Bridge deck replacement on I-65 about a half mile north of I-80/94
$3.1M HMA overlay on US 41 from SR 2 to three miles south of SR 231
$2.8M Bridge deck replacement on US 12 over the Wisconsin Central RR

Porter County

Porter County Map

5-Year Porter County Investment Total: $101,612,047

5-Year Impact:

  • 210 lane miles resurfaced
  • 25 bridges rehabilitated or replaced
Notable Projects: 
$15M US 30 intersection improvement, signals and lighting, at Washington
$5.5M HMA overlay on SR 49 from SR 8 to US 30
$18M Replacing superstructure on SR 249 about two miles north of I-94
$3M Bridge deck replacement on US 20 over the CSX RR
$2.6M HMA overlay on US 20 from two miles west of US 421 to US 421

Allen County

Allen County Map

5-Year Allen County Investment Total: $96,068,903

5-Year Impact:

  • 310 lane miles resurfaced
  • 9 bridges rehabilitated or replaced
Notable Projects: 
$6.7M HMA overlay on I-69 from .68 miles south of US 224 to 9.5 miles north of US 224
$5.2M HMA overlay on US 27 from six miles south of SR 930 to one mile south of SR 930
$3.7M Structural work on SR 101 covering about eight miles of road north of US 24
$3.3M New cable rail barriers at various locations on I-69
$3.2M Concrete pavement restoration on I-469 from I-69 south to two miles east of SR 1

Marion County

Marian County Map

5-Year Marian County Investment Total: $457,383,241

5-Year Impact:

  • I-69 Section 6
  • 19 lane miles added
  • 276 lane miles resurfaced
  • 75 bridges rehabilitated or replaced
Notable Projects: 
$7M Bridge deck replacement on I-65 over Michigan Street
$17M Replacing superstructure of I-70 over Lewis Street and Monon Trail
$14M Concrete pavement restoration of I-70 from two miles east of SR 267 to I-65 S junction
$35M I-69 Section 6 installation
$13M Part of the I-69 Section 6 installation

Clark County

Clark County Map

5-Year Clark County Investment Total: $37,631,844

5-Year Impact:

  • 112 lane miles resurfaced
  • 8 bridges rehabilitated or replaced
Notable Projects: 
$6M New road from Port of Indiana to SR 265 and from SR 265 to River Ridge Development
$4.5M Pavement replacement on US 31 of about 1.5 miles of road near SR 60
$3.8M HMA overlay on SR 62 from SR 265 to SR 3
$2.8M HMA overlay on US 31 from roughly SR 265 to SR 60
$2.1M Concrete pavement restoration on SR 265 from I-65 to nearly SR 62

Full Speed Ahead

INDOT has projects ramping up in every single county in Indiana – far too many major projects to detail here in a single article. If you’d like to take a closer look at the projects taking shape in your area, simply visit INDOT’s website and find all of the details beneath the Next Level Roads tabs.

It goes without saying that Hoosiers are going to have to get used to seeing a lot of orange road cones over the next few years, in addition to the extra dollars we’re going to be paying at the pump, but the benefits of infrastructure investment in an economic sense are too big to ignore, especially for a state that bills itself heavily on its distribution capabilities. Despite assured transit frustrations we’re all likely to experience, positive things are definitely just around the corner in Indiana.