Senate Bill 333 – Transportation Funding

Michael Testimony

Senate Bill 333 (SB 333) is a comprehensive transportation funding bill which provides an earmark to provide an additional $42 million from the Indiana regional cities development fund for the purpose of funding a third grant under the regional cities initiative.

United’s Transportation Manager, Michael Rowe, testified on behalf of the American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC) Indiana in support of a long-term funding solution for Indiana’s roads and bridges to the Road and Transportation Committee, chaired by Representative Ed Soliday. The hearing specifically addressed  SB 333 which supports a short-term increase in funding and is intended to provide an interim solution for the long-term road funding issue.

Properly maintained Indiana roads will reduce the overall cost of the roadway system and the vehicular costs to the roadway users. If passed, the bill will save money in the long run while improving the pavement and bridge conditions.

Funding Graph

 

What a Difference a Year Makes!

RIBBON CUTTING

City of Columbus Mayor Kristen Brown and City Engineer Elizabeth Fizel are joined by City Representatives, Contractors and United Representatives

Columbus, IN. (December 17, 2015) The City of Columbus hosted a Ribbon Cutting Ceremony to kick-off the official opening of a one-mile stretch of Indiana Avenue from Marr Road to State Street, completing a year-long project which began in January 2015.

The $6.2 Million project was funded through a federal/local partnership and included the installation of a new storm drainage system (from Clifty Creek to State Street), new cement stabilized / compacted aggregate road base, new curb and gutter, full depth HMA pavement, sidewalks / curb ramps (on both sides of the street) and new concrete drive approaches. The reconstructed roadway was redesigned as 11-foot travel lanes and five-foot bike lanes. A seven-foot parking-lane on both sides of the street was also included throughout the majority of the project.

The installation of retaining wall sections at the Cherry Street intersection and bio-swale areas on the east end of the project were also included. These “rain gardens” provide additional drainage while transforming this section of Indiana Avenue into an aesthetically pleasing streetscape through the use of new trees and numerous perennial plantings.

BEFORE AND AFTER

SR 37 Improvements in Hamilton County Announced

 SR 37 Photo - STAKEHOLDERS

 

SR-37-Corridor-Location-MapHAMILTON COUNTY, Ind. (Dec. 10, 2015) — The public was invited to join Indiana Governor Mike Pence and members of the General Assembly, along with government dignitaries from INDOT, Hamilton County, the city of Noblesville, and the city of Fishers at the Delaware Township Community Center to share in the excitement of the official announcement for a $124 million plan to improve the SR 37 corridor from 126th Street to 146th Street.

Hamilton County Commissioner Mark Heirbrandt delivered the opening remarks before introducing the Governor. “We are near capacity on SR 37. This traffic congestion causes frustration for drivers, concerns for public safety, and a barrier to community corrections for those who are traveling east to west through town,” said Heirbrandt.

During his opening remarks, Heirbrandt explained that Hamilton County commissioned a Mobility Study in 2010 to evaluate the future serviceability of the existing SR 37 corridor with relation to the rapid growth the area is experiencing.

A team led by United Consulting conducted the corridor study; specifically, with the focus of evaluating whether grade separation of the existing intersections would improve the traffic capacity, efficiency, and safety for the SR 37 study corridors without the need for additional travel lanes along this segment of the SR 37 corridor. The study revealed that if no improvements are made to the corridor, the area will be soon be experiencing gridlock for commuters.

Hamilton County Commissioners worked diligently with the city of Fishers, INDOT, and the city of Noblesville to develop a plan for the SR 37 corridor that will promote economic growth and public safety. In 2018, construction of the initial phase of improvements will begin on the corridor project. During this phase, improvements to SR 37 between 126th Street and 146th Street will convert the existing facility to a free flow parkway with roundabouts installed at 126th Street, 131st Street, 141st Street, and 146th Street. There will also be an intersection modification at 135th Street.

The plan was strategically developed by taking into consideration, the impacts the project will have to the surrounding businesses and residents along the corridor while it is under construction. City of Fishers Mayor Scott Fadness said, “In order to ensure we are as sensitive as we can be to the folks that live and work directly adjacent to the corridor, the State is allowing the city of Fishers to take temporary relinquishment of that road during construction so that we can ensure that we have constant and direct communication with our stakeholders and can be sensitive to their needs.”

Governor Pence summed it all up, “This is a great example of good government in Indiana; communities working together — working together for the state of Indiana. We are going to install a more vibrant artery for growth and opportunity for Hoosiers for generations to come with this announcement today. This collaboration between the State and between Fishers and Noblesville and our Hamilton County Commissioners is truly inspiring.”

 

Westfield’s Newest Roundabout is Open to Traffic

161 & Oak Ridge Ribbon Cutting

The City of Westfield hosted a ribbon cutting ceremony to offically open the 161st Street and Oak Ridge Road roundabout on Monday, November 2, 2015.

“These roundabouts help us keep our commitment to creating a safe city for our residents,” Mayor Andy Cook said. “Roundabouts consistently are proven to be safer than four-way-stops, and they actually move traffic through an intersection with less congestion.”

The roundabout was designed by United Consulting and constructed by 3D Contractors. Cost of construction for the project was $1,328,503 and was paid for by funds from the 2014 utility sale, as well as funding from the Indianapolis Metropolitan Planning Organization.

The roundabout features asphalt trails along the perimeter and comes as Westfield is beginning work on a Safe Routes to School Plan for Oak Trace Elementary. The plan will identify recommendations in the areas of education, encouragement, engineering, and enforcement to improve the safety of students walking/biking to school, and hopefully increase the numbers of students who choose to walk/bike to school. As a part of this project, preferred walking/biking routes will be identified and assessed for infrastructure needs. Extensive public involvement and data collection efforts will also be conducted.

The 161st Street and Oak Ridge roundabout is sponsored by Elsner Family Dentistry.

161_OakRidge

Muncie Officials Unveil New Canal Project

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MUNCIE, Ind. (Oct. 22, 2015) — Mayor Dennis Tyler joined Muncie Sanitary District board members Nikki Grigsby, Bill Smith, and Mike Cline to dedicate Muncie’s new canal project, Liberty Pass.

The block-long canal, located at Washington and Liberty streets, is a decorative feature that’s part of a $10 million sanitary district project to move stormwater from downtown Muncie to the White River on the north edge of downtown. It features benches on decorative stone circles, ramps that descend from street level to the water, and a pump that circulates stormwater.

United Consulting provided project management, design, survey, and construction inspection services with assistance from Beam, Longest and Neff and Rundell Ernstberger Associates. Construction was performed by Bowen Engineering.

The project provides significant drainage improvements in the downtown area and is a key component in the City’s plan to provide separate storm and sanitary sewers.  It also allows for the development of the new downtown hotel and parking garage project adjacent to the convention center and is anticipated to spur redevelopment in the downtown area.

“The team involved did a great job!” said United Vice President Bill Hall. “This project provides much needed drainage improvements in downtown Muncie, and was done with a focus on sustainability. The canal will be a catalyst for redevelopment in this downtown Muncie neighborhood.”

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