Gas tax hike and fees generating millions of dollars in funds for local roadwork and bridges

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idot chip seal
Chip seal on S.R. 105 in Huntington County (IDOT Facebook photo)

Revenue from recently increased gas tax and fees will start flowing into local coffers in a few months and officials already have plans on how to use the extra cash, the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette reports, adding that millions more will be available for investment in local asphalt, bridges, county roads and more.

“It’s a good shot in the arm to fill in the gaps where we were falling behind,” said Scott Tilden, Kosciusko County highway superintendent. “Hoosiers should see a real difference.”

The revenue will flow into two local road funds, which use population, vehicle registrations and road miles to send the money to city, counties and towns.

Allen County will receive $13.9 million in 2018 – up from $9.6 million in 2016, according to an analysis by Perdue University’s  Local Technical Assistance Program

Fort Wayne should see an additional $4.5 million in 2018, the city said.

Allen County has been struggling to keep up with maintaining roads, said Kim Yagodinski, finance manager for the Allen County highway department.

The county, for example, has more than 500 miles of asphalt road and should resurface 43 miles per year to keep up with the life of the roads. But the department only had five miles of asphalt repaving in the budget. Now it hopes to increase that to between 25 and 30 miles.

Allen County Highway Department director Bill Hartman said preliminarily the county plans to focus on maintenance, including asphalt resurfacing and resealing of current roads. And it wants to do at least 10 miles next year of converting gravel roads to chip-and-seal. The latter is a special protective wearing surface applied to existing pavement.

“We still don’t have enough to do everything we need, but you will absolutely see a difference,” Hartman was quoted as saying, noting this will especially be true by the end of next year’s construction season.

Fort Wayne spokesman John Perlich said the new funding will help provide nearly $25 million worth of neighborhood infrastructure projects throughout the city each year.

“Specific projects will be outlined in the coming months as we get closer to the 2018 construction season,” he said. “Currently, we’re meeting with members of city council and neighborhood leaders as we work together to prioritize the investments for 2018.”

Increases for 2018 over 2016

  • Adams: $1.2 million
  • Allen: $4.25 million
  • DeKalb: $1.38 million
  • Huntington: $1.26 million
  • Kosciusko: $2.27 million
  • LaGrange: $1.3 million
  • Noble: $1.54 million
  • Steuben: $1.19 million
  • Wabash: $1.28 million
  • Wells: $1.22 million
  • Whitley: $1.22 million

Source: Indiana Local Technical Assistance Program at Purdue University

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