Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Challenges Ahead for Indiana, Says Panel

Unlike the states bordering Indiana, Indiana has created a large infrastructure. However, in the long run it could end up having problems. This is just one idea of the infrastructure in Indiana. State Rep. Ed Soliday is the person in charge of directing the board on observing this issue and they testified on Tuesday to a General Assembly committee regarding the matter. Gov. Mitch Daniels has spent the majority of the $3.8 billion that was leased to the Indiana Toll Road in 2006 on road construction for his Major Moves program. The money used for the Toll Road has definitely been a positive for Indiana. Almost every bridge and state road has received an excellent review, there has been a decrease in congestion and the safety is better. This increases the auto transport market due to easier access to more roads. Auto carriers can now maneuver through routes with ease and in a timely manner. The State Transportation Commissioner Michael Cline said that because the economy is weak the cost of construction has been reduced. By 2014, the vice president of the economic development at the Indiana Chamber of Commerce believes that all of the Major Moves money will end up being spent. This is going to put Indiana in a difficult position because the outlook for federal transportation dollars to increase is going to be slim. Soliday never used tax increases or user fees to pay for the infrastructure development but thinks that by not doing anything it is ridiculous.

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