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New Major Moves Transportation Fund Being Established

The legislature is contributing $200 million a year until 2020 to a transportation fund.

i-465

Photo: Laurie (flickr)

Some legislators are hoping the fund can be used to reduce congestion on Interstate 465.

One month from now, Indiana will make the first deposit into a newly established trust fund, to pave the way for the state‘s next big round of highway-building.

The new state budget requires funneling $200 million a year into what is being called the Major Moves 2020 fund.

If the state sticks to that schedule in future budgets, it will have more than a billion dollars by 2020 to spend on big-ticket highway projects.

Senate Appropriations Chairman Luke Kenley threw out a few possibilities in proposing the fund, from completion of the I-69 extension to an outer beltway around I-465, which is an idea then-Governor Mitch Daniels proposed six years ago, then abandoned in the face of public opposition.

INDOT says 2020 is too far away to speculate on what projects might be built. But Indiana Motor Truck Association president Gary Langston says Kenley‘s suggestions belong in the mix, along with steps to relieve congestion on I-465 on Indy‘s south side.

“I believe that’s being reconsidered maybe more strongly now than it has been for a few years now that it seems the economy is starting to come back somewhat, and I do believe that would be beneficial not only to us locally here but we also have a tremendous amount of truck traffic,” he says.

Langston says the state should not overlook less glamorous projects, like adding more rest areas and oases along existing highways.

“I believe that’s being reconsidered maybe more strongly now than it has been for a few years now that it seems the economy is starting to come back somewhat, and I do believe that would be beneficial not only to us locally here but we also have a tremendous amount of truck traffic,” he says.

The original Major Moves is nearing the end of a 10-year construction blitz financed by Daniels‘ lease of the Indiana Toll Road.

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