INDIANAPOLIS — A billion dollars is a lot of money, even to governments that spend much more than that each year.
That is the amount Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett said is estimated to get every street in Marion County “adequately repaired”.
“And that would be over a one-year period of time,” said Hogsett on Monday as he unveiled a 5-year capital spending plan for infrastructure.
That plan, which Hogsett said was the result of “creative financing by his administration and the City-County Council, has a slightly higher price tag: $1.1-billion.
But again, that’s over 5 years.
The 2023 to-do list for the city Department of Public Works is substantial.
Year one includes 12.5 miles of new sidewalks, 15.5 miles of rehabbed sidewalks, 20.5 miles of new trails, 14 miles of new storm drains, 16 bridge repair projects, and 214 lane miles of street rehabilitation.
The roadwork includes about four miles of North Meridian Street with work expected to begin this month.
It is a lot, but Hogsett acknowledges much more needs to be done and it begins with a state government funding formula for local road repair, a formula Hogsett calls “broken”.
FOX59 reported last year that a key component of how state funds are divvied up involves the accounting of how many miles of road a community has. The state uses “center lane miles” which is the length of all roads. The flaw in the formula is that it does not account for urban roads which are commonly four, six, eight and ten lanes wide.
Using the state’s measurement, a one-lane road in a rural county gets as much money per mile as a city street ten lanes wide.
For now, the Indianapolis Mayor says even with $1.1B over the next five years, his city is just playing catch-up on fixing its roads.
“Because Indianapolis is a first-class city, it deserves an infrastructure that reflects the value it generates.”
And that says Hogsett requires more money from state and federal governments.
For a full breakdown of the work planned in Marion County for 2023, click here.