City-County Council votes to approve $14.5 million proposal for emergency road repairs

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – The City-County Council voted unanimously to approve a $14.5 million proposal Monday to address the growing pothole problem in Indianapolis.

The plan includes funding specifically for personnel, supplies, contractors and capital equipment to “address the emergency repair of city streets.”

In the proposal, about $9.5 million will be used for strip-patching, which involves tearing up stretches of road with lots of potholes and completely replacing them. About $525,000 will pay the contractors doing that work.

Nearly $2.9 million will go to salaries for DPW crews pulling 12-hour shifts to patch potholes. Around $132,000 will pay for all the extra materials, including asphalt.

DPW Director Dan Parker says the remaining $1.45 million will go toward equipment that will help DPW crews “put the maintenance back in street maintenance.”

The approval of the plan comes after DPW crews worked for weeks to fill as many potholes during their emergency pothole blitzes.  Parker said so far, the agency has filled more than 52,000 potholes and replaced more than 24 miles of roadway with strip patching.

“Once we get good weather we’re going to be able to get in front of this in a major way. But I think we’ve made good progress since February 26th," Parker said.

As part of the approval, the council adopted an amendment that would force DPW to provide records on what it’s doing with the money. According to the council, those records are to include costs, plans, and timetables for when the work is to be completed.

“We do need the receipts, and the public needs to know where that money is going as well. So we want to try to be, to use an overused word, transparent,” said Councilor Marilyn Pfisterer (R-District 15).

Parker previously said that if the council did not approve the mayor's spending proposal, they were going to have to cut back on the number of projects and repairs the department could do.

Mayor Joe Hogsett issued the following statement after the council approved the proposal:

Indianapolis works best when it works together, and tonight’s unanimous City-County Council road funding vote was yet another example of the progress that can be made when elected leaders put people before politics. With this bipartisan vote, residents will continue to see progress as we work to repair our roadways. And thanks to responsible fiscal planning over the last two years, all of this will be possible without postponing planned 2018 infrastructure projects.

I want to thank President Vop Osili and all of the City-County Councillors for their prompt action – and their partnership -- on this critical infrastructure project.