Indiana to begin next round of local road grants after pandemic-related pause

Indiana is opening the next round of state transportation grants to help cities, towns and counties maintain existing roads and bridges.

Joe McGuinness, commissioner of the Indiana Department of Transportation, announced Wednesday the state will begin accepting grant applications on Friday, two months after it had to put the project on hold due to declining traffic and revenue caused by the pandemic.

But traffic and freights levels have recently rebounded, McGuinness said, prompting the state to resume the Community Crossings grant program that has awarded more than $730 million to projects in all 92 counties over the past four years.

The funds are awarded strictly for local roads and bridges, not interstates or state highway projects.

“I call it our Main Street Indiana program, and that is what these dollars are for,” McGuinness said Wednesday during Gov. Eric Holcomb’s weekly press briefing.

Projects that are eligible for funding include road resurfacing, bridge rehabilitation, road reconstruction, and Americans with Disabilities Act compliance in connection with road projects. Material costs for chip sealing and crack filling operations are also eligible for funds.

The state plans to award about $68 million in matching funds for local programs. Applications will be evaluated based on need, traffic volume, local support, the impact on connectivity and mobility within the community, and regional economic significance.

“We do get requests for more dollars than we have, so it is a very competitive program,” McGuinness said.

All applications must be submitted by Oct. 23. The transportation department will score requests and make funding awards in November. The grants will be awarded as follows:

  • Cities and towns with a population of fewer than 10,000 will receive funds using a 75/25 match.
  • Cities and towns with a population of greater than 10,000 will receive funds using a 50/50 match.
  • Counties with a population of fewer than 50,000 will receive funds using a 75/25 match.
  • Counties with a population of greater than 50,000 will receive funds using a 50/50 match.

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