Putnam County, Russellville awarded Community Crossings grants

Tuesday, April 7, 2020

With the state announcing $126.5 million in Community Crossings grant funding Tuesday afternoon, Putnam County will share some of the wealth, as nearly $1.13 million was awarded to a pair of county entities.

Putnam County will receive a $1 million Community Crossings Grant, while Russellville will receive $128,367.

For small communities, Community Crossings grants pay for 75 percent of approved road and bridge construction projects.

The Putnam County Highway Department plan involves a little more than 12 miles being resurfaced through the funds, which includes:

• Bainbridge-Roachdale Road from Bainbridge to County Road 1000 North in Monroe and Franklin townships;

• West Walnut Street Road from Greencastle to County Road 450 West in Greencastle and Madison townships;

• Lonestar Road from Manhattan Road to Bridge 122 in Greencastle Township;

• Golf Course Road (1100 South) From State Road 42 to Meridian Line Road in Cloverdale Township; and

• County Road 1000 East from 400 South to 600 South in Jefferson Township.

In Russellville, the plan is to use the $128,367 to resurface Public Road from Jessie Avenue to 2nd Street.

The length of road that will be resurfaced through the program will ultimately depend upon the bids contractors submit for the work.

In 2019, the county had to seriously adjust its plan when the only bid came in from Wabash Valley Asphalt of Terre Haute at $290,000 over the original estimate.

In all, Gov. Eric Holcomb and Indiana Department of Transportation Commissioner Joe McGuinness announced awards for 214 Indiana cities, towns and counties for a combined $126.5 million in state matching funds.

“Hoosier communities are able to take on more needed road work and do it in record time thanks to Community Crossings,” Holcomb said. “Our commitment to partnering with cities, towns, and counties on vital infrastructure helps build strong communities poised for investment and job growth.”

The Community Crossings Initiative has provided more than $738 million in state matching funds for construction projects. The latest round garnered more applications than dollars available — making the call for projects highly competitive.

In response to local requests to help manage project flow, INDOT now accepts applications in both January and July, with a $1 million cap annually per community.

An estimated $100 million will be available for communities opting to apply during the July 2020 call for projects.

“INDOT’s mission is to build and maintain Indiana’s transportation to grow our economy and enhance the quality of life in Indiana,” McGuinness said. “Through Community Crossings we’re able to take that commitment to local roads, not just our highways. This sustained investment by the state makes sure that the Crossroads of America is maintained from the first mile to the last mile.”

To qualify for funding, local governments must provide local matching funds, 50 percent for larger communities or 25 percent for smaller communities, from a funding source approved for road and bridge construction. They must also submit an INDOT-approved asset management plan for maintaining existing roads and bridges.

State law requires annually that 50 percent of the available matching funds be awarded to communities within counties with a population of 50,000 or fewer.

State lawmakers identified long-term funding for Community Crossings as part of House Enrolled Act 1002, passed by the legislature and signed into law by Gov. Holcomb in April 2017.

"These grants are a vital source of funding for rural communities across the state," State Rep. Beau Baird (R-Greencastle) said. "Maintaining our roads is critical to our small town economies and improving their quality of life."

The list of all communities receiving matching funds in the 2020 January call for projects is online at www.in.gov/indot/communitycrossings.

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