Fund Our Roads Indiana: Hoosiers Take Action on Infrastructure Funding (Part I)

The American Council of Engineering Consultants (ACEC) Indiana recently launched a grassroots transportation funding campaign called Fund Our Roads Indiana. To get the scoop on this public outreach initiative, GAI sat down with ACEC Indiana’s President, Scott Hornsby, PE.

In a nutshell, what’s the problem?

Scott: There’s a $1 billion gap in current funding levels to get Indiana’s infrastructure into good condition. The state gas tax has not been raised since 2003, and the federal gas tax hasn’t been raised since 1993. Our gas tax revenues are dedicated to maintaining and building our roadways and they continue to decline due to the loss of purchasing power from inflation and vehicles getting better gas mileage (with the inclusion of hybrids, electric, and other alternative vehicles). Our highways, roads, and bridges are deteriorating, and we don’t have adequate funding to maintain the ones we have, let alone build new ones.

By raising awareness, we’re trying to motivate people to do something about the problem. Our legislators need to know that the public wants them to make long-term transportation infrastructure investment a priority, and most state representatives or senators will act if they hear from their constituents.


What’s the goal of the Fund Our Roads Indiana campaign?

Scott: The ultimate goal is a long-term, sustainable transportation funding plan for the state of Indiana. But to accomplish that, first we have to educate the public on how little they pay—$0.63 per day for the average person—for using roads and bridges, and how much need there is for increased transportation funding. By raising awareness, we’re trying to motivate people to do something about the problem. So that’s the second course of action—we want them to contact their elected officials and urge them to find a way to fix our roads in Indiana’s upcoming General Assembly session. Our legislators need to know that the public wants them to make long-term transportation infrastructure investment a priority, and most state representatives or senators will act if they hear from their constituents.

You mentioned that spending money on infrastructure will save people money in the long-term. How is that possible?

Scott: Basically, poor roads cost the traveling public more than good roads, not only in money but in safety, too. To understand this, I encourage people to think about things like getting a flat tire from a pothole or spending time and gas while sitting in traffic. This type of wear and tear is due to deteriorating infrastructure, and that directly costs drivers money. Shipping costs are also factored into the goods we buy. So when trucks are idling in traffic, those costs get passed along to consumers. If our traffic moved along better and our roads were in better condition, we’d actually save money in the long-term.

Scott Hornsby, PE is a leader in GAI’s Midwest Transportation Market. In his 25 years of experience consulting and serving INDOT and Indiana LPAs, he has successfully managed and led transportation teams and high profile projects. As an industry advocate, he is an active member of ACEC, serves as President of the Indiana ACEC Board of Directors, and is also on the Build Indiana Council Board of Directors. For further information, Scott can be reached at 317.570.6800.

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