SOUTHERN INDIANA — Four local government bodies will receive more than $2.5 million collectively from the state to improve area roadways and bridges.
New Albany, Charlestown, Borden and Clark County officials learned Tuesday that they were selected to receive money from the Indiana Department of Transportation's Community Crossings Matching Grant Program.
The following amounts were awarded in Clark and Floyd counties:
• New Albany: $1 million
• Charlestown: $941,188.08
• Clark County: $644,537.75
• Borden: $101,417.23
Community Crossings is a partnership between INDOT and Hoosier communities, both urban and rural, to invest in infrastructure projects that catalyze economic development, create jobs and strengthen local transportation networks, according to INDOT's website.
Projects eligible for funding through Community Crossings include road resurfacing and preservation; bridge rehabilitation or replacement; and road reconstruction with Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliance in connection with a road project. Material costs for chip sealing and crack filing operations are also eligible for funding.
New Albany city engineer Larry Summers said his city was awarded the maximum amount. The extra $1 million will be used for paving this year. The city council had already allocated $2 million for 2019 paving projects.
"It's good news and something we were hopeful for," City Council President Scott Blair said. "The process has become more competitive over time."
Blair said in talking to INDOT, officials New Albany has about $4 million in paving needs each year so this grant will get the city closer to reaching that goal.
In Charlestown, Mayor Bob Hall said the grant money will go a long way in helping improve the city’s streets. “We are using 100 percent of it for paving,” Hall said Tuesday.
The $941,188.08 grant funding will be combined with Charlestown’s 2019 paving budget of $300,000.
The mayor estimates more than 35 percent or more of the city’s existing streets will be paved this year.
"This is a big deal that will enable the city to make major street improvements throughout the city,” Hall posted on his Facebook page when announcing the grant.
In Borden, city coordinator Brenna LaDuke said they will use their grant money to pave Borden Ridge subdivision.
With a grand vision for reshaping Borden, LaDuke said this is one more step in the right direction for the community.
“We, as the town, are very excited about this opportunity,” she said via text. “The paving grant modernizes the subdivision that adjoins the township park. This will create continuity between the town and the new developments in the park.”
In Clark County, the focus of the commissioners has been on improving infrastructure over the past few years, said Jack Coffman, who serves as president of the commissioners.
He said the $644,537.75 will be used on two key projects in the county to keep the momentum going.
One is to replace a culvert that is prone to flooding on County Road 311 in Hamburg near El Nopal and German American Bank. A bridge will replace the culvert and raise the elevation of the road.
The other project will resurface a bridge on Ind. 160 between Henryville and Charlestown.
Both projects are expected to begin late spring, hopefully after school is out for the year, Coffman said.
“Your roads and bridges are your biggest assets in the county,” Coffman said. “So, we are well pleased with receiving this money. It will definitely help us fund our projects we’ve got in the works.”
— News and Tribune assistant editor Chris Morris contributed to this story.