Road And Bridge Funding: Is It Keeping Up With Needs In Allen County?

By Jeff Neumeyer

August 6, 2013 Updated Aug 6, 2013 at 5:39 PM EDT

ALLEN COUNTY, Ind. (www.incnow.tv) --- How much money is enough to fix crumbling infrastructure in Allen County?

The Indiana General Assembly is boosting transportation funding for counties across the Hoosier state.

The big question, what can we expect locally from the increased cash for roads and bridges?

At least one Allen County commissioner says the additional money is good, but we shouldn't expect miracles.

Local units of government statewide will see a combined increase of $100-million a year over the next two years for things like bridge repairs and street upgrades.

About $4.2 million extra dollars will be funneled into Fort Wayne and Allen County.

Allen County Commissioner Nelson Peters is a fan of the extra funding, but says it will still leave county government more than $2-million short of the total needed to stay on top of simple road and bridge maintenance.

" We are very, very appreciative of that, but there are certainly some things that are going to continue to be undone and, as far as any new projects, that's fairly unlikely to happen, at least here in Allen County," Peters said.

As far as road priorities that will probably remain undone, Peters says the county highway department would love to expand Adams Center Road, Lafayette Center Road, and really get serious about upgrading the county's inventory of 300 bridges.

But he says money is tight, so don't count on any of those things happening real soon.

The state legislature has a message for local units of government on the subject.

State Senator Tom Wyss from Fort Wayne says lawmakers will be keeping tabs on how local governments spend the money, making sure they use it for roads, and not to take care of other budget shortfall issues.

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