Photo: Dough Kerr (Flickr)
Indiana Department of Transportation officials want the General Assembly to release $400 million in transportation funding, and today Senate lawmakers found out how transportation officials would use that money. The question of whether the money will be released still remains unanswered.
The General Assembly set aside $400 million in last year’s budget into what it called the Major Moves 2020 fund.
They intended to create a trust fund that would help pay for major projects in the future.
But Governor Mike Pence and INDOT are asking for that money now.
INDOT Commissioner Karl Browning says his agency’s plan is to begin widening sections of Interstates 65, 70 and 69 to six lanes across – with the ultimate goal of making them six lanes across the entire state.
“There’s an opportunity in this both for mobility and safety – even though we’re only targeting sections of it, we know these sections are the ones that are in the most trouble today,” Browning said.
The sections include parts of I-65 in northwest Indiana, around Lafayette and south of Indianapolis, I-70 west of Indianapolis and I-69 northeast of Indy.
Senate Appropriations Committee Chair Luke Kenley, who spearheaded the creation of the fund, says he’s glad to see INDOT plans to use the money on long-term projects.
“And I think this is for the committee to decide whether we want to retain that as a savings account or whether we want to go along with the proposal that they have,” Kenley said. “And I don’t know the answer to that yet.”
Kenley says his committee will vote on a bill releasing the money to INDOT next week.