Indiana governor unveils $1 billion plan for roads and bridges

Reuters News
Posted: Oct 13, 2015 4:06 PM

(Reuters) - Indiana Governor Mike Pence on Tuesday announced a $1 billion, partly bond-funded, four-year plan to fix roads and bridges.

The Republican governor said the money would be in addition to the $3.2 billion the state's transportation department was already planning to spend on projects over the next five years.

“These additional funds will help INDOT make future maintenance and repairs as the interstate system comes of age, and will help ensure that our roads can support the economic and employment growth our state has seen over the last few years," Pence said in a statement.

The plan, which would not require a tax hike, calls for the sale of $240 million of bonds by the triple-A-rated state and $6.5 million in annual savings through 2029 from refinancing outstanding bonds at lower interest rates. Pence said he will ask the legislature to approve $150 million a year in additional funding for roads and bridges in fiscal 2018, 2019 and 2020, while tapping $241 million from Indiana's $2 billion budget reserve projected at the end of fiscal 2016.

Indiana would also accelerate the distribution of $50 million in interest from a trust fund set up in 2006 with proceeds from the long-term lease of the state toll road.

(Reporting By Karen Pierog; Editing by Tom Brown)