Indiana Agency Directs Nearly $80M to Rural Areas for Future Road, Bike/Ped Projects
INDIANAPOLIS, IN The Indiana Department of Transportation awarded nearly $80 million in federal transportation funds to 64 cities, towns and counties in rural areas to invest in road and bridge improvements as well as sidewalk and trail projects starting in 2021.
INDOT said that when the federal dollars are combined with local funds the total rises to almost $135 million for infrastructure in those communities.
"Modern roads and bridges keep commerce moving at the speed of the 21st-century economy, and sidewalks and trails help create the sense of place that sparks vibrant communities, which attract businesses and talent to the Hoosier state," said Lt. Gov. Eric Holcomb.
INDOT said it dedicates about 25 percent of its annual federal highway funding to support local projects. Metropolitan planning organizations distribute some of those funds within larger urbanized areas, while INDOT distributes funds outside the MPO areas.
For this latest round, rural communities will design and purchase land for projects that would be bid out during the state's fiscal year that begins in July 2021. While the funds now awarded are dedicated for eventual construction, INDOT said it will be "financially participating in design, engineering and right-of-way acquisition components of these projects."
To receive the federal funds communities must pay at least 20 percent in local matching amount for their projects, and meet other federal requirements.
InDOT also said that for the first time it set aside part of the local-project awards - amounting to about $5 million - for rural sidewalk improvements in smaller communities. In addition, the state agency is spending $2.5 million each year to improve crosswalks and other sidewalk infrastructure along state highways in both rural and urban communities.