It would take $725 million just get our streets to "fair"

Posted: 2:37 PM, Feb 16, 2018
Updated: 2018-02-17 04:32:49Z
It would cost $730M to upgrade Indy's streets
It would cost $730M to upgrade Indy's streets

INDIANAPOLIS -- With all the cracked streets and potholes, driving on Indianapolis streets can seem less like a smooth way to travel, and more like a game of Frogger.

Due to severe deterioration of the city's infrastructure, it would cost about $730 million to bring Indianapolis' streets to "fair" condition, according to a 2016 study by the Department of Public Works.

To break it down even further, the DPW would need an annual budget of $178 million for maintenance to make sure the streets don't slip into poor condition.

The study was conducted and given to Mayor Joe Hogsett when he took office in early 2017. 

Part of the reason for the staggering level of disrepair the roads is from the Indiana gas tax, DPW says. The gas tax remained the same from 2002-2016, and fuel-efficient cars have become more popular, meaning less money is going toward DPW to maintain the roads.

"The cost of maintaining our transportation facilities has increased dramatically due to the increased cost of petroleum products, including fuel used for construction and maintenance activities and materials such as asphalt pavement, which is petroleum based," the study reads. 

It also finds that the potholes and crumbling pavement are the result of years of deferred maintenance which has caused severe deterioration.

A summary of the study, and the financial needs for each section are outlined in the table below. 

In addition to the $730 million needed, it would cost an estimated $1.5 billion to replace missing sidewalks -- on one side of the road.

A spokesperson for DPW pointed out that this study is at least two years old, and that since 2016, the city has invested millions of dollars into the transportation fund. The 2018 budget for the transportation plan is expected to be about $90 million. 

Only $640 million to go.

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