Work to expand some of Indiana’s major highways could begin as early as this year after Governor Mike Pence Thursday announced the release of $200 million to fund road construction.
Legislation signed by the governor releases $200 million in transportation funding that was set aside in last year’s budget.
The money will be used to add lanes to Interstate 65 in two areas – just south of Indianapolis and around Lafayette. Companies will bid for the contracts later this year and work could begin late this year or early next year.
Governor Pence says the areas on I-65 were chosen after he asked the Indiana Department of Transportation to identify existing chokepoints on the state’s major roads.“And particularly improve them in a way that could be done quickly because the existing right-of-ways already are available,” Pence says.
An additional $200 million could be made available at the end of this year, subject to approval by the State Budget Committee.
Committee co-chair Tim Brown says he’s confident the money will be released, despite state revenues coming in under projections this fiscal year.
“Our unemployment numbers are coming down," Brown says. "I think you’ll see that continue through the year, where income will be more stabilized and sales will continue to do what they’ve done – which sales have had a slow growth up over the last year.”
The second $200 million will be used to add lanes to I-65 near Louisville and an additional section around Lafayette and I-69 just north of Indianapolis.