INDIANAPOLIS – It has now been a year since President Joe Biden signed the bipartisan infrastructure package into law, and officials say it’s making an impact in Indiana.
According to the White House, roughly $3.3 billion in funding that has been announced is tied to the bipartisan infrastructure law, impacting more than 90 projects across Indiana. Much of that funding is going to roads and bridges.
The funding comes as it’s getting more expensive to improve Indiana’s infrastructure. According to the Indiana Department of Transportation, road construction costs have risen 36% on average since 2020, largely due to inflation.
“A lot of our companies are eating those costs,” said Richard Hedgecock, president of Indiana Constructors, Inc., which represents about 200 companies.
“It’s those subcontractors on those jobs, and it’s those minority contractors on those jobs; those are the ones that we worry about,” he added.
According to Hedgecock and INDOT, the funding from the federal infrastructure law has helped cover those additional costs.
That money goes into a state fund that reaches ongoing projects, explained Natalie Garrett, strategic communications director for INDOT.
“We’re able to take that funding and continue to deliver on our current priorities of projects that we already have in place… north split, I-69 Finish Line, Clear Path 465,” Garrett said.
The federal funding goes beyond roads and bridges.
More than 277,000 Hoosier households are receiving money for high-speed internet. And the Indianapolis International Airport is getting about $13 million for upgrades, according to Jarod Klaas, senior director of planning and development for the Indianapolis Airport Authority.
“It’s an opportunity to do some things where airports would not have done them otherwise,” Klaas said.
Hedgecock said thanks to state funds, Indiana won’t have to rely too heavily on the new federal money to get projects done.
“We’ve done a really good job in the state of Indiana in putting together a funding formula to meet the needs,” he said.
Over five years, the White House expects about $6.9 billion in federal funding to go toward Indiana roads and bridges under the infrastructure law.