During the 2017 legislative session, the Indiana General Assembly passed a critical 20-year, $20-billion road-funding plan — House Enrolled Act 1002 — safeguarding the future of our state’s transportation infrastructure.

Indiana’s previous source of road funding was not keeping up with our need, and we faced a $1 billion annual infrastructure-funding gap. Moreover, the future of federal funding for transportation infrastructure is not guaranteed. This session, lawmakers faced the issue head-on and refused to “kick the can” down the road to the next generation of Hoosiers.

The Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) recently announced the first phase of HEA 1002 through the Next Level Roads plan. Over the next five years, the plan will resurface 9,700 miles of road and repair or replace 1,300 bridges across the state. Senate District 16 includes portions of Allen and Whitley counties, and together, those counties are set to receive more than $121 million for state road and bridge repairs.

In addition to the Next Level Roads plan, HEA 1002 also increased the amount of money awarded through the Community Crossings Matching Grant program. Through the program, INDOT matches up to $1 million when localities invest in road and bridge repairs. Depending on their population, counties, cities and towns can be matched 50 or 75 percent. Communities are selected based upon the economic impact of their projects.

Four area entities recently received a total of more than $2.8 million through the grant program. Allen County received $670,000, Columbia City received $828,943.13, Fort Wayne received $670,000 and Whitley County received $670,000.

Funding our roads is very important for the safety of our citizens and the health of our economy. The road-funding plan passed by the General Assembly takes responsibility for our transportation infrastructure at the state and local levels, and I am very proud of that accomplishment.

As always, I welcome your input and questions on this topic or others. My office can be reached by phone at 800-382-9467 or by email at

David Long - IN Dist. 16 Senator

David is a former Republican member of the Indiana State Senate representing the 16th district which encompasses Waynedale. He served as the President Pro Tempore of the Indiana State Senate. David writes the "Straight From The Senate" column for the newspaper. > Read Full Biography > More Articles Written By This Writer