Massive Investments in New Roadways and Broadband

Massive Investments in New Roadways and Broadband

Indiana has been putting a lot of money into new connections lately for a variety of major broadband and roadway projects. This fits perfectly with our reputation as a state that likes to keep things moving. With a nearly $300 million kickstart from state-level sources, and many millions more through privately and locally matched funds, we’re going to be establishing all new types of avenues for businesses and communities. For both cyberspace and Hoosier roadways, it’s going to be a very busy summer.

 

Broadband Access for 52,900 Locations, $429M

A whopping $189 million was awarded for 154 broadband infrastructure expansion projects across the state in the third round of the Next Level Connections (NLC) Broadband Grant Program. But that was just the start. The program allows broadband service providers and utility cooperatives to apply for up to $5 million to expand service to unserved areas if they provide at least a 20% match, which brought the total even higher.

A contingent of 35 telecommunications providers and utility cooperatives contributed more than $239 million in matching funds, resulting in more than $429 million total.

This third round of funding will provide broadband infrastructure to more than 52,900 homes and commercial locations in 80 counties.

In LaPorte County for example, Surf Broadband Solutions was awarded $4.467 million. The company will be using its grant funds to provide service to more than 1,000 homes and then will contribute an additional $2 million in company investment to complete the network, bringing the total investment to $6.4 million. In separate grant allocations, Comcast was awarded $241,000 and Mercury Wireless was awarded an estimated $1,100,000. Each has their own projects planned. Indiana State Senator Michael Bohacek said these three grant awards will be “monumental for LaPorte County to grow its data infrastructure and support economic development.”

In Cass and Fulton counties, 810 homes and 362 businesses/organizations will gain broadband access with a $4 million grant to RTC Communications. Down in Southeast Indiana, 292 homes and 18 businesses will gain access through a $1.5 million grant to Southeastern Indiana REMC. There’s a lot more happening too in almost every other area of the state.

 

Local Road Projects in 224 Communities, $142M+

Earlier this spring, 224 Indiana cities, towns, and counties received a combined $107.8 million in state matching funds for local road projects through Community Crossings, a component of Governor Eric Holcomb’s Next Level Roads program.

All kinds of different roadway projects will be taking place under this award, each with their own local impact. Communities submitted applications for funding during a highly competitive call for projects near the start of the year. Applications were evaluated based on need, current conditions, impacts to safety, and economic development. To qualify for funding, local governments must provide local matching funds of 50% for larger communities or 25% for smaller communities.

At a rough estimation, that means between $142 million and $215 million total can be expected to be invested through this effort in 2022.

“Continuing to modernize and enhance our transportation infrastructure is critical to the economic success in and around our incredible communities,” Governor Holcomb said. “Community Crossings makes immediate impacts on improving local roads and bridges across Indiana. Those improvements translate to a safe, reliable, robust transportation infrastructure that benefits residents and business in every corner of our state and every place in between.”

 

BONUS FACT: More than 1,300 State Projects are Funded Too, $3B+

In addition to the local road projects funded under the Community Crossings program, it’s important to note that investments in state roadway projects are also huge year. The 2022 Next Level Roads construction season started in April. More than 1,300 state projects are scheduled for Hoosier roads in 2022. When combined with preventative maintenance projects, the state is investing more than $3 billion to improve road and bridge conditions this year.

 

Things are Getting Moving

These investments are going to get a lot of business-related endeavors moving throughout the state. On both our physical highways and information superhighways, Hoosier commerce is going to roll out quickly. The funding awarded this year and matched by so many other entities could very well be establishing new pathways for growth that could bring about all kinds of great rewards. It’ll be great to see what comes next.

Category Features, Finance