The City of Indianapolis is taking long-awaited steps towards citywide road repairs. The city recently announced its plans to allocate its $271 million in transportation infrastructure spending for 2022. Included in the city’s plans is $50 million earmarked for much-needed repairs to roads and residential streets. Much of the rest of the funding will go towards bridge repairs and stormwater infrastructure.
While the Department of Public Works will make many of the repairs, the DPW also allocated funding to local community groups. The DPW announced funding for eight of these organizations last week. The community groups will focus on sidewalks and residential communities. The DPW’s focus is on major commuter thoroughfares.
According to reports, the city has already filled in 10,000 potholes this year, though an estimated 8,000 remain. The city emphasized the need for patience from residents as it works to fix its roads.
Road funding still short of need
These announcements come on the heels of some troubling trends for Indianapolis. The 30th Street Bridge project is a direct response to the Fern Hollow Bridge collapse earlier this year. The catastrophic failure of the bridge highlighted the broader problems that the country faces. Infrastructure spending is a cornerstone of the Biden Administration’s policy for a reason.
Even as the funding was announced, there were concerns raised that it wouldn’t be enough. A recent study by an engineering firm estimated that the city would need to invest an additional $1.07 billion to adequately maintain its infrastructure. Road funding alone would need to more than double for Indianapolis to maintain its current condition.
The study raised concerns about traffic from nearby counties. Workers commuting in from cities like Lafayette are not currently included in the city’s infrastructure funding calculations. So, some of the city’s heaviest road users don’t pay taxes to the city. Hopefully, the city will find a new way to fund these vital projects.