April 7, 2020 — The city of Fort Wayne and towns of Ashley and Middlebury were among the big winners when Gov. Eric Holcomb and Indiana Department of Transportation Commissioner Joe McGuinness announced that 214 Indiana cities, towns, and counties received a combined $126.5 million in state matching funds for local road projects through the Next Level Roads: Community Crossings Initiative.

“Hoosier communities are able to take on more needed road work and do it in record time thanks to Community Crossings,” Holcomb said. “Our commitment to partnering with cities, towns, and counties on vital infrastructure helps build strong communities poised for investment and job growth.”

For Fort Wayne, Middlebury and Ashley in northeast Indiana, Community Crossings will mean the maximum $1 million each will be coming their way. The same is true for Allen and Noble counties. Whitley County received just shy of the $1 million by getting $983,615.58.

Other grants include $812,094.02 for Decatur; $772,242 for Angola; $764,631 for Avilla; $511,419.46 for Leo-Cedarville; $497,822.00 for Warsaw; $433,500.00 for South Whitley; $394,450.39 for Huntington; $373,500 for Churubusco and $288,000 for Clear Lake.

Smaller communities have to provide a match of 25% for their grants. In other words, a $1 million grant represents a $1.25 million project.

• Fort Wayne will use the funding, coupled with local dollars, to support concrete rehabilitation of streets, sidewalks, curbs, gutters and ADA ramps in the Springwood/Orchard Woods neighborhood.

• The Allen County Highway Department submitted an application earlier this year for the grant money, which will be used to resurface several roads in the southeast portion of the county. Specific details on those projects will be announced at a later date.

The Community Crossings Initiative has provided more than $738 million in state matching funds for construction projects. The latest round garnered more applications than dollars available — making the call for projects highly competitive. In response to local requests to help manage project flow, INDOT now accepts applications in both January and July, with a $1 million cap annually per community. An estimated $100 million will be available for communities opting to apply during the July 2020 call for projects.

“INDOT’s mission is to build and maintain Indiana’s transportation to grow our economy and enhance the quality of life in Indiana,” McGuinness said. “Through Community Crossings we’re able to take that commitment to local roads, not just our highways. This sustained investment by the state makes sure that the Crossroads of America is maintained from the first mile to the last mile.”

To qualify for funding, local governments must provide local matching funds, 50% for larger communities or 25% for smaller communities, from a funding source approved for road and bridge construction. They must also submit an INDOT-approved asset management plan for maintaining existing roads and bridges. State law requires annually that 50% of the available matching funds be awarded to communities within counties with a population of 50,000 or fewer. State lawmakers identified long-term funding for Community Crossings as part of legislation passed by the Legislature and signed into law by Holcomb in April 2017.

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