Transportation and Infrastructure

UPS announced plans this week to open a $260 million shipping hub in Plainfield by 2019 – one of the first big logistics investments to come after the state passed its road funding plan.

The repairs and upgrades that $1 billion-a-year funding package will fund with tax and fee increases are a big deal for companies that rely on roads.

Stan Jastrzebski / WBAA

The West Lafayette City Council is set to vote Monday on the Parks and Recreation Department’s action plan, which includes spending more than $1.8 million on the Morton Community Center – a building that’s been the de facto city hall for the last three years.

cycleluxembourg / https://www.flickr.com/photos/cycleluxembourg/

The Lafayette City Council Tuesday night is expected to conduct a second reading of an ordinance creating an advisory committee which would be charged with making the city’s streets safer for bicyclists and pedestrians.

Mike Mozart / flickr.com/photos/jeepersmedia/14319904578

A Purdue agricultural economist is projecting gasoline prices will remain low this summer.

Wally Tyner says there’s usually a bump in price for the summer months, but an industry surplus has kept crude oil around $50 a barrel.

“What that did is it gave the U.S. shale oil producers enough profit margin to increase their production,” he says. “Their costs have fallen 30-percent in the last three years.”

Tyner says the increase in shale oil production – now up to 600,000 barrels a day – should balance out OPEC’s 1.2 million barrel cut by the end of the year.

Road construction season is underway, and after state lawmakers allocated more money for local roads, House Speaker Brian Bosma says communities should see a big season.

“We want them to start smelling asphalt in July,” Bosma said after unveiling the road funding package in April.

Indiana’s local communities will receive at least $200 million for roads and bridges in the state’s new infrastructure funding package.

Uwe Mayer / flickr.com/photos/intermayer/

Small-town West Central Indiana commissioners say they’re happy about changes made to a state-issued matching grant intended for infrastructure work.

At a meeting in Crawfordsville Monday with Department of Transportation officials, Vermillion County Commissioner Tim Yocum said one of the new requirements – an asset management report – won’t require counties to hire pricey consultants.

“Most counties save $20,000, $30,000 or $40,000 by utilizing their own people,” Yocum says. “It seemed like the state was really trying to work with us to make this happen.”

A who’s-who of Midwest business leaders met in Indianapolis Thursday to talk about their stake in fixing updating the nation’s aging transportation system.

Many say Indiana’s plans for road repairs should stand as a national, multi-modal example.

Ports of Indiana CEO Rich Cooper, who helped host the roundtable discussion, says the state and national economies rely on more than ships and barges. Changes at one part of the system, he says, have huge ripple effects on the rest.

As places such as East Chicago, Indiana, grapple with lead contamination, they face a challenge for after cleanup: how to redevelop and revitalize once-toxic neighborhoods.

In Evansville, community leaders have used decades of remediation to their advantage.

In what was once the most-contaminated part of the city’s Jacobsville Neighborhood Superfund site, a vacant lot sits waiting.

“So as we’re standing here right now, we’re standing where Garfield Commons will be,” says Chris Metz, assistant director of Evansville’s ECHO Housing Corporation.

Chris Morisse Vizza / WBAA News

Contractors who’ve begun demolition on the easternmost portions of West Lafayette’s State Street redesign now want permission to close the busiest intersection on the road for a couple nights in early May.

West Lafayette City Engineer Ed Garrison Tuesday received approval from the city’s Board of Public Works for two noise ordinance exceptions so the corner of State Street and River Road could be shuttered for underground pipe to be laid.

$1.2 Billion Road Funding Package Sent To Governor

Apr 24, 2017

 

The state legislature has sent Gov. Eric Holcomb a $1.2 billion-a-year road funding package, fulfilling a session-long pledge from all four legislative caucuses.

The road funding package generates money in several ways, including gasoline tax hikes and BMV fees, providing $340 million per year to local roads and $870 million for the state.

Senate Minority Leader Tim Lanane criticized the larger scope of the bill, raising gasoline taxes while cutting taxes for casinos in the state in a separate bill.

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