IBJNews

Report: Indiana infrastructure needs billions in work

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

A civil engineering group that surveyed Indiana's infrastructure has given the state's dams and wastewater treatment systems low marks and says roads, bridges, dams, railroads, airports and treatment plants need billions in improvements to meet future needs.

The report by the Indiana section of the American Society of Civil Engineers gave Indiana a D+ in its first report card on the state's infrastructure. That's slightly better than the D grade given nationally.

The report rated each type of infrastructure on a seven-component scale by engineers who specialize in that category. Grades were based on condition, capacity, operation and maintenance costs, future funding and public need.

Bridges fared the best, earning a C+. The state's lowest grade was a D- for both wastewater treatment and dam conditions. Airports received a C, roads a C- and rail and drinking water were both rated D+.

"While some improvements have been made over the past few years, much work remains," engineer Katherine Graham, who supervised the report, told The Times in Munster.

The report did not suggest how to pay for improvements as Indiana's struggles with dwindling tax revenue and a disappearing surplus despite millions in cuts.

Indiana Department of Transportation spokesman Will Wingfield said funding for roads and bridges depends heavily on spending decisions at the federal level.

He said the state also is using money from a lease of the Indiana Toll Road to develop projects that encourage new business and residential development.

"Our long-term goal is to use this infrastructure that's being built to spur jobs in the private sector and growth in the private sector," Wingfield said. "That is what's going to really help everyone else along."

Karl Zimmerman, an assistant professor of engineering at Valparaiso University, said Indiana should focus on maintenance for current systems, especially water and wastewater systems whose failure can affect human health.

"We have a tendency here in the U.S. to buy new and throw away when done. Infrastructure doesn't work that way," Zimmerman said. "We have to maintain it, because it's way too expensive to keep buying new.
 

ADVERTISEMENT

  • Money better spent
    INDOT's spokesperson Wil Windbag, should be advising the media that INDOT is not interested in maintaining the roads we have. They are soley focused on funding and building yet another un-needed highway. The New-terrain I-69 is budgeted to consume nearly $1B for just the first 3 sections, Evansville to Crane. That is at least $300,000 short of the Major Moves money the legislature dedicated to that project. And it falls 75 miles short of Indianapolis. Where will the money come from to build the complete I-69? Wil Windbag wants to blame the feds, but INDOT has money to fix and maintain our existing roads if they gave up on building new and discarding the old, just as Prof. Zimmerman points out.

    Responsible spending on infrastructure and to encourage future growth, attention should be turned to reliable mass transit systems in our cities and connecting all our communities rather than building yet another road.

    We have greater priorities than to construct this boondoggle of a highway, built for the glory on Daniels on high.
  • Sigh
    Nothing like a report from a completely disinterested party.

    Still, I'm sure they're right.

    I'd much rather see us spend money on infrastructure that will help us compete than on some of our other dubious ventures.
  • Failing grads for more than schools.
    Is it no wonder our schools are failing when the government that is to provide for the infrastructure is near failing? Perhaps we should fire the politicians who are responsible! How do you think they can "fix" the schools when they can't even fix those things they are responsible for.?

Post a comment to this story

COMMENTS POLICY
We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
 
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
 
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
 
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
 
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
 

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by
ADVERTISEMENT

facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ on Facebook:
Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ's Tweets on these topics:
 
Subscribe to IBJ
  1. why oh why does this state continue to elect these people....do you wonder how much was graft out of the 3.8 billion?

  2. i too think this is a great idea. I think the vision and need is there as well. But also agree with Wendy that there may be better location in our city to fulfill this vision and help grow the sports of hockey and figure skating in Indy. Also to help further develop other parts of the city that seem often forgotten. Any of the other 6 townships out side of the three northernmost could benefit greatly from a facility and a vision like this. For a vision that sounds philanthropic, the location is appears more about the money. Would really like to see it elsewhere, but still wish the development the best of luck, as we can always use more ice in the city. As for the Ice growth when they return, if schedules can be coordinated with the Fuel, what could be better than to have high level hockey available to go see every weekend of the season? Good luck with the development and the return of the Ice.

  3. How many parking spaces do they have at Ironworks? Will residents have reserved spaces or will they have to troll for a space among the people that are there at Ruth Chris & Sangiovese?

  4. You do not get speeding ticket first time you speed and this is not first time Mr.Page has speed. One act should not define a man and this one act won't. He got off with a slap on the wrist. I agree with judge no person was injured by his actions. The state was robbed of money by paying too much rent for a building and that money could have been used for social services. The Page family maybe "generous" with their money but for most part all of it is dirty money that he obtained for sources that are not on the upright. Page is the kind of lawyer that gives lawyers a bad name. He paid off this judge like he has many other tine and walked away. Does he still have his license. I believe so. Hire him to get you confiscated drug money back. He will. It will cost you.

  5. I remain amazed at the level of expertise of the average Internet Television Executive. Obviously they have all the answers and know the business inside and out.

ADVERTISEMENT