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State releases local Community Crossings grants as road construction boom starts

Stephanie Wiechmann
IPR News

Indiana is releasing $107 million in infrastructure funds this week aimed toward local road projects. State representatives say local communities are excited to participate in the construction boom that’s already popping up on state-owned roads.

In this round of Community Crossings grants, 224 locales will share the funding.

Mike Smith, head of the Indiana Department of Transportation, says the money can go far with local projects.

“We have repaved entire towns across the state. Little towns – but we’ve done that nonetheless.”

Communities must partially match the awards, based on their population. Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb says the awards are an opportunity to make sometimes long-planned projects happen.

“These are often those projects where you just don’t have enough to get to that project, and so it’s been sitting on the shelf. Maybe the blueprints have been gathering dust. And now all of a sudden, you get to pave all of Main Street.”

Read More: Holcomb pleased with road funding plans as federal money arrives

Cities like Muncie also say they’re okay matching the grant award. Dan Ridenour is Muncie’s mayor.

“It’s just nice as you’re planning and budgeting to be able to know what can happen. And we’ve got a good system down with the city engineer, and making sure we can max out every year is important for us as a city.”

Muncie received this cycle’s maximum award of $1 million. He says Muncie will pave 26 local roads with the money, probably beginning this fall.

Read More: Muncie announces road paving plan for 2022

Since 2016, the state says it’s released more than $1 billion for local road construction through the program. The next call for projects begins in July.