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Southwest Indiana counties receive more than $15M for infrastructure projects – Inside INdiana Business



Southwest Indiana counties receive more than M for infrastructure projects – Inside INdiana Business

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(file photo courtesy of INDOT)

Five southwest Indiana counties are in the design phases of infrastructure projects after the region received more than $15 million from the Indiana Department of Transportation.

According to the American Road & Transportation Builders Association, the state has more than 2,600 bridges that need repairs, with over 1,000 classified as structurally deficient. 

Knox ($6,235,200), Gibson ($2,452,000) and Warrick ($1,464,000) counties acquired funding for bridge projects while Daviess ($3,568,500) and Spencer ($1,964,800) counties received money for road projects. 

In March, INDOT awarded more than $150 million in federal funding to over 50 rural communities across the state for road and bridge improvements and sidewalk projects.

Each year, INDOT allocates around 25% of federal highway funds to support local projects. Recipients must meet federal requirements and contribute at least 20% in local matching funds to get the money.

Knox County

In Knox County, INDOT funding will be used to overhaul Mays Road Bridge. Matt Holden, superintendent and engineer at the Knox County Highway Department, said crews will replace the bridge built in 1925 and reconstruct the approaches. The bridge will be rated for legal loads and no longer have a 14-ton weight limit.

“It’s a massive project for Knox County,” said Holden. “I was not tremendously optimistic that we were going to get this project as large as it was.”

Holden said not only is the bridge nearly 100 years old but there are also visibility issues on the approaches.

“There’s been several accidents out there. The levee is very steep on both sides. As soon as you come across the levee, the bridge is right there. This bridge was shut down a couple of years ago for six months because somebody hit the bridge and damaged it,” he said.

The total cost of the Mays Road bridge project is around $9 million. Holden said part of the matching 20% will come from a Cumulative Bridge Fund, and the rest is to be determined. 

“The cost of the project is why we decided to shoot for a federal aid project. This project is not something that we could have done locally funded,” he said.

Holden said there’s a chance that construction could start in 2028, but he’s planning for work to begin in 2029.

“Knox County advertised a Request For Proposals for design. We have scored the submitted proposals and selected SJCA as the design consultant. We are currently in contract negotiations with SJCA,” said Holden. “I expect it to be at least a six-month project. It may end up being more. It depends on the contractor. It depends on scheduling, planning and what kind of crews they have available.”

Spencer County

In Spencer County, the INDOT award will go toward improving County Road 100 E. The road was formerly U.S. 231 before the four-lane highway was built more than a decade ago.

“Since then, the county took over that road, and we haven’t been able to do any upkeep. We thought this was a great opportunity to apply for the grant with the funding from INDOT,” said Heather Gries, Spencer County commissioner. “They will be resurfacing the road. Our bridges are good on that road. It wasn’t anything that was a major rework of the road. It’s more or less the road needs to be resurfaced. Striping needs to be done.”

Gries said the improvements will provide a safer road for commuters and other local drivers in the area.

“A lot of people on their daily travel, if they come from Warrick County to Spencer County for work, this is probably one of the roads that is used by more people,” said Gries. “We also have a large agricultural base in this region, and many of those folks travel to Spencer County and Rockport, where the ADM mill is located on the riverfront.” 

The total cost of the County Road 100 E project is about $5.1 million, with the first phase costing $1.9 million and the second phase costing $3.2 million. The county received an INDOT grant for the first phase in 2023. Gries said the matching 20% for the recent grant will come from local income tax.

“[100 East] goes through Chrisney, which is a small town that is centrally located in the county. They’ve also, in the past year, upgraded their water and sewer. We feel that it’s a great way for us to develop around this incorporated town,” she said.

Gries expects the improvements, which are scheduled to start in 2027, to benefit visitors as well.

“It’s a through road that connects to Warrick County. We have a lot of tourism that comes to our area from different areas of southern Indiana, and we feel that this road is traveled for things of that nature,” she said. 

Warrick County

In Warrick County, the INDOT grant will help fund work on Bridge 37 on Stanley Rd. over Pigeon Creek, according to Bobby Howard, administrator and engineer at the Warrick County Highway Department.

“The bridge will have the deck repaired and overlaid with concrete with new asphalt approach aprons. We will also address any scour issues that may be present on the foundation,” he said.

Howard said the bridge project is a proactive measure.

“This bridge is one of the few east-west routes across the northern part of the county connecting Elberfeld to Lynnville. The rehabilitation work now will save costly replacement work in the future,” he said.

The total cost for the Bridge 37 project is around $1.6 million. Work is expected to begin in 2026. ​​

“Our matching funds will utilize local income tax funds for local bridges,” said Howard. “We have just selected a consultant to design. It will be at least two years before construction begins based on funding availability.” 

Just a month after receiving the infrastructure project grants, Knox, Spencer, Warrick and Gibson counties also received Community Crossings Matching Grants from INDOT. Knox, Spencer and Gibson counties received the maximum amount of $1.5 million—which was increased from $1 million in 2024—while Warrick received about $1.4 million. 

More than 250 cities, towns and counties received $207 million in CCMG funding so far this year. The current project application process is open until July 31.

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