City officials said Thursday that they intend to spend $350 million over the next three years to improve streets, sidewalks, trails and bridges.
Most of that money will come from existing funds, but $135 million will be borrowed against increased state transportation funding. The bond request will be introduced to the City-County Council on Monday. Council President Maggie Lewis and Minority Leader Michael McQuillen will co-author the proposal, according to the Mayor’s Office.
"I'm pleased to announce today another really transformational plan to rebuild neighborhoods across our city," Mayor Greg Ballard said during a press conference at the Keenan Stahl Boys & Girls Club on the south side.
The neighborhood and club have been lobbying for sidewalks on Troy Avenue since one of the club's members was struck by a car and killed. Headed for his bus stop, Robert Kirby Jr. was crossing the street in the dark of early morning in 2008 when he was struck by a driver who didn't see him.
Ballard's plan allows the Department of Public Works to continue addressing a list of various infrastructure requests, estimated to cost $700 million, even after money from the 2010 sale of the city's water and sewer utility to Citizens Energy runs out. There's about $40 million left in the $400 million Rebuild Indy fund, a DPW spokeswoman said, That money would roll over into new program, which begins next year.
The $350 million plan includes DPW's usual levels of state and federal funding, which were not specified, plus the remaining Rebuild Indy funds. The city expects its share of state gas tax revenue to increase by $7 million, and will leverage that into the bond issue.
DPW's plans for new infrastructure improvements include allocating money in these areas:
—$102 million for street improvements.
—$100 million for sidewalks, greenways and bike lanes.
—$46 million for bridges.
—$20 million for parks.
—$19 million for future project studies.
Ballard noted that the list includes all of the streets that have been deemed first and second-tier priorities for repaving but not yet addressed under Rebuild Indy. The list covers about 280 segments of road, or 200 lane miles.
The mayor is also emphasizing connectivity—sidewalks and trails—to popular destinations and IndyGo bus stops.