By BRADEN LAMMERS
LOUISVILLE — A change in which areas of Southern Indiana are considered urban was approved by the Federal Highway Administration in late January.
The approval of the mapping plan was announced at the Kentuckiana Regional Planning and Development Agency Transportation Policy Committee meeting Thursday. The new boundaries were drawn based on 2010 census figures and depending upon what boundary an area falls within, it will dictate what type of funds are potentially available for transportation projects.
KIPDA Transportation Planner Lori Kelsey said the finalized urban area boundaries dictate what type of Surface Transportation Program — or STP — funding the county or municipality would be eligible to receive. Areas eligible for group I funds were largely the areas of Jeffersonville, Clarksville and New Albany. The urbanized area is limited to a contiguous area of population of 50,000 people or more.
The other area designated was Charlestown, which was designated for group III funds, for populations between 5,000 and 50,000. The remaining areas in Clark and Floyd counties not inside one of the zones will be consider for group IV, or rural funds.
Changes to Clark County boundaries included an extension of the urban area near Sellersburg north along Ind. 111. In addition, an area along Ind. 403 extending into River Ridge out to the Ohio River has been brought into the urbanized zone. Modifications also included removing parts of Otisco, north along Ind. 3 from Charlestown’s urban cluster zone, reverting it to a rurally designated area. Between Clark and Floyd counties, an area was added to the urban zone along Ind. 111 to connect them at the county line.
Floyd County changes included moving the boundary for type I funds to be brought inside Two Mile Lane instead of including the road, which it did previously. Duffy Road’s designation was changed to a rural road. Also, territory was also added that is to the south and west of Georgetown, again bringing it into the urbanized zone for federally funded projects.
While there are really no advantages or disadvantages to the designations, transportation planners said, the designations are important in developing its long-range plans.
“This is all going to be also tied into ... the national highway system, national truck network, freight network, all those things we need to get in order for our plan update,” said KIPDA Transportation Director Larry Chaney. “Our modeling, our project generation, everything will necessarily be tied to those systems.”