Nearly 3,000 highway engineers and contractors are on the Purdue campus to learn the latest innovations in building cost-effective, long-lasting roads, highways and bridges.
But, before the technical workshops about pavement preservation and culvert installation began Tuesday, attendees heard from one of the men who is determining how to generate the more than $1 billion additional dollars needed in each of the next 20 years to shore up the state’s crumbling roads and bridges.
State Representative Tim Brown (R-Crawfordsville) says the road funding bill approved by the Indiana House combines 10-cent per gallon fuel tax increases, a new $15 per vehicle registration fee, a $150 annual fee on electric vehicles and the ability to charge tolls.
While some state Senators have said they disagree with portions of the House plan, Brown says legislators will approve a bill this year which provides sustainable, long-term tax revenue for transportation projects.
“We have decided and have data that we need to deal with this problem now,” Brown says. “Putting it off is like putting a band aid over a small sore without getting an antibiotic treatment. You get a big sore.”
The House bill is now under consideration in the Senate, where Brown expects some changes will be made.
In the end, he maintains the transportation funding bill will look very similar to the plan that passed the House.