Funding Boost for Indiana Transportation Infrastructure Projects

Indiana transportation infrastructure work is being powered by a long-term state funding bill that went into effect in 2017. An article discussing the benefits of Indiana’s HEA 1002 bill in the November 25 issue of ENR Midwest features comments from GAI’s Scott Hornsby, PE, the firm’s Midwest Infrastructure Business Sector Leader.

State Gas Tax Augments Federal Funding

“The Indiana funding bill recognizes that the federal government’s Highway Trust Fund has fallen behind with regard to highway spending needs in the states,” said Hornsby. The federal government collects a tax of 18.4 cents per gallon of gas sold in the U.S.—this money goes to the Highway Trust Fund, and is then redistributed to the states as federal funding to support transportation infrastructure projects. “The federal gas tax rate was never pegged to inflation, and it’s been stuck at the same amount for over 25 years,” said Hornsby. “That amount naturally loses its purchasing power over time.”

The Indiana bill, which is explored in detail at the Build Indiana Council website, augments federal funding by adding 10 cents per gallon to the tax on gas sold in the state. This raises the state gas tax to 28 cents per gallon, which is specifically designated to support Indiana transportation infrastructure projects. A key measure of the bill ties the tax to inflation, and the tax has risen by an additional penny per gallon each year over the past two years. Additionally, Indiana’s existing 7-percent gas sales tax is being channeled incrementally toward supporting construction and maintenance of the state’s transportation infrastructure, with the end result of having all gas sales tax collected going to fund Indiana transportation infrastructure.

Dupont Road Project Earns Kudos

A GAI project to widen and add multiuse amenities to highly traveled Dupont Road in Fort Wayne, Indiana earned the company high praise from city leadership.

“GAI Consultants played a critical role in helping the City of Fort Wayne meet the goals of the project,” said Fort Wayne Mayor Tom Henry. “GAI’s collective leadership and commitment to seeing a challenging project through to the finish are to be commended.”

Increased Funding Opens New Opportunities

“The Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) is one of GAI’s most important partners in the Midwest, and we’ve seen a big increase in the number of INDOT’s project solicitations for design and inspection since the bill went into effect,” said Hornsby. “GAI’s growth in the region is keeping pace with market demand: we’ve grown more than 50 percent in terms of staffing since HEA 1002 was passed, which positions us very well to meet client need. We’re excited to be partnering with a range of clients during a time of critical focus on Indiana transportation infrastructure.”

Indiana communities are also benefiting from a partnership between INDOT and local municipalities called the Community Crossings Matching Grant program. Community Crossings funds transportation infrastructure projects in Indiana communities large and small with up to $1M a year in matching funds to improve the condition of local roads and bridges. “GAI has helped several communities with their roadway Asset Management Plans and the design of local street projects funded by Community Crossings grants,” said Hornsby. “It’s a real boost for small communities that might not have had opportunity to do significant maintenance work for many, many years and are now able to have their streets re-paved.”

Offering Public-Sector Partners Long-Term Value & Full-Term Support

With expanded funding resources available through HEA 1002 and other programs, GAI’s Indiana transportation infrastructure clients are in a prime position to make much-needed improvements with GAI’s full-service support.

According to Hornsby, GAI’s preferred approach to projects on the municipal and county level is to partner with clients early on and work with them to develop their projects from the ground up. “This approach enables GAI to define opportunities, formulate the best solutions for their needs, identify and help secure funding, and scope out and support projects from concept to ribbon-cutting,” said Hornsby. “It’s our objective to be an end-to-end consultant for our clients, and with our local expertise in survey, inspection, environmental, utility coordination, design, and more, we’re well positioned to deliver on that goal.”

Contact Scott Hornsby, PE, 317.436.4836, for more information about the full range of GAI’s infrastructure services and support.

GAI Midwest Infrastructure Highlights

Vice President Scott Hornsby, PE has served as designer, project manager, and/or project principal on more than $1 billion of transportation construction projects. An industry advocate with decades of professional experience, Scott is an active member and past president of the American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC), and is currently on the Build Indiana Council Board of Directors.

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