Impact of Indiana through a bipartisan infrastructure package

INDIANAPOLIS — It’s now a year since President Joe Biden signed the bipartisan infrastructure package into law, and officials say it’s having an impact in Indiana.

According to the White House, the announced funds of approximately $3.3 billion are tied to the bipartisan infrastructure bill, which affects more than 90 projects across Indiana. Much of this funding goes to roads and bridges.

The funding comes as it is becoming increasingly expensive to improve Indiana’s infrastructure. According to the Indiana Department of Transportation, road construction costs have increased an average of 36% since 2020, largely due to inflation.

“A lot of our companies are eating up on those costs,” said Richard Hedgecock, president of Indiana Constructors, Inc., which represents about 200 companies.

“It’s these subcontractors for these jobs, and it’s these minority contractors for these jobs; those are the ones we’re worried about,” he added.

According to Hedgecock and INDOT, funding from the federal Infrastructure Act helped meet these additional costs.

That money goes into a government fund that supports ongoing projects, explained Natalie Garrett, strategic communications director at INDOT.

“We are able to accept this financing and continue to meet our current priorities from projects that we have already established…North Split, I-69 Finish Line, Clear Path 465,” Garrett said.

Federal funding goes beyond roads and bridges.

More than 277,000 Hoosier households will be paid for high-speed Internet. Indianapolis International Airport will receive about $13 million in upgrades, according to Jarod Klaas, senior director of planning and development at the Indianapolis Airport Authority.

“It’s an opportunity to do some things that airports wouldn’t otherwise have done,” Klaas said.

Hedgecock said that thanks to state funding, Indiana doesn’t have to rely too heavily on the new federal money to complete projects.

“We’ve done a really good job in the state of Indiana in putting together a funding formula to meet the need,” he said.

The White House expects approximately $6.9 billion in federal funding over five years to be allocated to Indiana’s roads and bridges under the Infrastructure Act.