Local News

Panel Makes Recommendations on Transportation Needs

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (WOWO): We are getting our first look at how the future of transportation in Indiana may look like.

The Governor's Blue Ribbon Panel released a 118-page wish list. Priority is being given to adding lanes to I-65, I-70 and work for the I-69 bridge over the Ohio River.  

In our area, adding lanes to I-69 and work on US-30 are listed as tier two projects. Another proposal includes expanding semi-trailers by from 53 to 57 feet and creating truck only lanes. 

Something that experts say will make trucks more efficient and reduce the number of 18-wheelers needed. 

Langham Logistics president Cathy Langham, who co-chaired the panel with Lieutenant Governor Sue Ellspermann, says one of those new lanes should be a proving ground for technological innovations, including roadbeds which automatically recharge electric cars as they drive, heating elements which keep the road free of ice and snow, and interactive communication which displays road information on cars‘ windshields.

The panel also urges the state to adopt some form of user fee to fund highway construction. Pence says he‘ll forward that recommendation to a legislative study committee already preparing to examine alternatives to declining gas taxes this summer. He‘s thanking the commission for its work, but not explicitly endorsing any of its proposals yet. He says he‘ll send the report to INDOT and other affected state agencies for evaluation.

The study covers air, rail, highway and water transportation. 

Fort Wayne Mayor Tom Henry was one of 23-members of the panel, He said: 

“I took this unique opportunity to serve on the Governor's Blue Ribbon Panel on Transportation Infrastructure to ensure that northeast Indiana had a voice in the process to move our streets and roads system forward in a positive way.

By having a reliable and safe transportation network, communities like Fort Wayne are better positioned to be leaders in economic development, job creation, job retention, and provide residents and businesses with an excellent quality of life.

We must continue to be committed to making infrastructure enhancements a top priority.”

You can view the report by clicking here.

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