Infrastructure Wins – Indiana Ranks in Top 5

Infrastructure Wins – Indiana Ranks in Top 5

By Mike Smith, Commissioner, Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT).

The Indiana Department of Transportation continues to see infrastructure wins as the agency forges ahead in delivery of Governor Eric J. Holcomb’s $60 billion Next Level Roads plan and paves the way for the future of transportation in Indiana.

For the seventh consecutive year, the Hoosier state was placed in the top five for infrastructure in CNBC’s Top States for Business rankings. The rankings consider various aspects of infrastructure, including roads and bridges, as well as broadband and trails, which are expanding across the state through Next Level Connections.

The significant investment made to maintain our transportation network is paying off. All state-maintained roads and bridges considered, Indiana sits at just over 94 percent of pavement in good or better condition and nearly 97 percent of bridges rated in fair condition or better.

Earlier this year, the newly reconstructed North Split interchange, the busiest in the state, was fully opened to traffic. There were plenty of construction challenges and some inconveniences along the way, but the point where I-65 and I-70 intertwine in downtown Indianapolis has been refreshed and renewed for decades to come, with the added benefits of improved safety and mobility, a smaller overall footprint, and aesthetic features.

While maintaining what we already have, the agency is inching closer to completion of I-69 Finish Line, one of, if not the only, new interstate construction project in the nation. If you haven’t driven between Martinsville and Indianapolis on either existing or future Interstate 69, you’ve not yet seen the transformation taking place along this 26-mile stretch of highway. Progress will continue through the end of 2024, when the entire corridor opens to traffic, providing a safer, more direct connection between southwest and central Indiana.

The hundreds of construction projects already underway keep us busy, but we’re also keeping our eyes forward to plan and prepare for the future. INDOT is currently conducting two Planning and Environmental Linkage (PEL) studies, which take a collaborative approach to public involvement and transportation planning. Two studies launched last summer in northern Indiana along the U.S. 30 and U.S. 31 corridors, and another officially kicked off this year in the capital city, looking at the potential of I-65 and I-70 inside the I-465 loop. Named ProPEL U.S. 30 and U.S. 31, and ProPEL Indy, these studies consider the needs and goals of communities, in addition to safety, mobility, environmental impacts, equity and economic opportunity. We want to hear about and learn what is important to those who utilize these corridors and how we can work together to enhance how they function and the level of service they provide.

INDOT is also investing nearly $100 million in federal funding to support alternate modes of transportation, like electric vehicles. Through the National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (NEVI) program, INDOT will work to expand the state’s current electric vehicle charging grid, contributing to the goal of a nationwide network of 500,000 EV chargers across the U.S. by the year 2030. The plan calls for installation of more than 40 charging sites along Indiana’s Alternative Fuel Corridors, which currently include most interstate routes and a portion of U.S. 31.

On a similar note, additional attention is being focused on the expansion of multimodal and bike and pedestrian facilities across the state, including commuter rail expansion in northwest Indiana through the West Lake and Double Track projects, making up the largest public transit investment in state history.

Big things are happening in the Crossroads of America and INDOT is doing its part to make the Hoosier state a destination live, work and play. Having a safe, reliable transportation network – at all levels – allows goods to be transported both near and far, commuters to get to and from work, residents to visit family and friends, and tourists to experience all that Indiana has to offer.

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Category Features, Last Word