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May 14

Fishers Pursues Federal Grants to Fund Growing Infrastructure Needs

Posted on May 14, 2015 at 5:32 p.m. by Jeff Hill

It’s infrastructure week and as the spotlight shines on our nation’s infrastructure crisis – deteriorating roads, bridges and highways throughout the country -- leaders are gathered in Washington seeking solutions.  

The costly maintenance and repair of aging infrastructure is an issue that cities and towns everywhere are facing, and Fishers is not exempt. While the list of infrastructure needs grows, the funds for repairs continue to fall short.

Local government entities are receiving significantly less revenue from the Motor Vehicle Highway (MVH) fund for road projects than in years past. The MVH fund is financed primarily by the gas tax, which saw its last increase more than 20 years ago in 1993. Couple this with regulations requiring more fuel-efficient vehicles, and this gap in revenue needed will continue to grow.

Many states have turned to local option tax increases to make ends meet; others have created other funding sources including toll roads, speed and/or red light cameras and even lottery funds.  In Indiana, different financing mechanisms are being discussed and considered, but in the meantime, cities and towns are challenged to find creative solutions to fill the infrastructure funding gap.

In order to keep up with infrastructure needs in Fishers and fill the funding gap, we’ve been aggressive in securing federal funds for transportation projects. The 2015 budget includes $17.3 million dollars in federal grants we’ve been awarded for road and trail projects that will be completed over the next three to five years.

In 2015, more than $1.7 million in federal grants will help fund the following projects:

  • Nickel Plate Trail Amenities, $368,000 for construction and inspection
  • Cheney Creek Trail, $469,200 for construction and inspection
  • 106th Street  and Eller Road Intersection, $468,000 for construction and inspection
  • 136th Street and Cyntheanne Road Intersection, $192,000 for engineering design
  • Various paving, curb, sidewalk and ADA upgrades in the Pines, Roxbury and Sunblest neighborhoods for construction

Beyond 2015, $22.5 million in federal grants will help fund the following projects: 

  • 96th Street and Lantern Road Intersection, $3,000,000 for construction and inspection
  • 106th Street and Cumberland Road Intersection, $1,092,000 for construction and inspection
  • 96th Street Widening between Lantern Road and Cumberland Road, $5,888,000 for construction and inspection
  • 113th Street Road Rehabilitation from Olio Road to Florida Road, $1,823,500 for construction and inspection
  • 113th Street and Florida Road Intersection, $1,710,000 for construction and inspection
  • Nickel Plate Trail Extension, $878,500 for construction and inspection
  • 131st Street and Cumberland Road Intersection, $1,920,000 for construction and inspection
  • Cyntheanne Road Rehabilitation from Southeastern Parkway to 136th Street, $900,000 for construction
  • Crosswalk and Pedestrian Improvements on 116th Street, $792,500 for engineering, construction and inspection
  • 136th Street and Cyntheanne Road Intersection, $1,944,000 for land acquisition, construction and inspection
  • 126th Street and Allisonville Road Intersection, $2,691,000 for construction and inspection

To become an even more vibrant city, we’re working diligently to ensure that our older neighborhoods are tended to and well-kept even as construction and growth happens in new neighborhoods. Moreover, we’re not just repairing aging infrastructure, but we’re also working to proactively anticipate and address upcoming needs in our community.

While we’re still working to identify a local revenue source that will allow us to invest the necessary $3 million a year in our roads in maintenance alone, we’ve been able to secure enough in federal grants to begin planning and construction on several major projects in our community – without a tax implication to residents. 



Comments

Peter Merante
May 15, 2015 at 7:58 p.m.
Seems like we're in a vicious cycle, where we continue residential development which leads to more infrastructure and commercial development and so on and so on. I appreciate the efforts to keep taxes low but I don't appreciate it taking 2, 3, 4x the amount of time to get from one part of town to another now, because of the sheer volume of residents and their cars. Where do we see the population number in 3, 5, 10 years? Thanks for the blog post - lots of good information.

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