Counties, Cities Lack Funding For Infrastructure Repair

City and county infrastructure is much worse than state-run roads, according to Indiana engineers.

Williams bridge

Photo: Indiana Public Media

Indiana received a D+ on its most recent infrastructure report card. Engineers say that's mostly because of county and city infrastructure.

Governor Mitch Daniels announced on Friday that the Sherman Minton Bridge connecting Indiana and Kentucky would be shut down for six months and costs about $20 million to repair. However, city and county bridges are also in need of repair.

Speaking on WFIU’s public affairs show Noon Edition on Friday, the President of APPIAN Transportation Advisors Dennis Faulkenberg said most engineers already knew about the problems with Indiana bridges before the Sherman Minton was inspected.

“There’s lots to be done out there,” he said. “Lots has been done but lots more to be done. It didn’t take that to tell us.”

Michael Wenning of the American Society for Civil Engineers who worked on the infrastructure report card for the state. Indiana received a D plus rating and Wenning said federal roads do need work but people should be most concerned with local roads.

“One of the things we found is that there is a marked difference between the state highway systems and the local systems that the counties and the cities maintain, and if we had split out the grades, on the road systems we might have ended up with something close to an A on the state system, but a failure on the local system,” Wenning said.

Even though the need is high, cities and counties are running low on money to repair their road systems. Some counties are even going so far as to changing paved roads back into gravel roads because of their lower maintenance costs.

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