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State Could Spend Highway Fund Ahead of Schedule

Last updated on Friday, February 14, 2014

(UNDATED) - A year after setting aside 400-million dollars for long-term highway needs, legislators are considering breaking that piggy bank open now..

Legislators had hoped to keep adding to the highway fund, then use it in 2020 for some big-ticket projects. But INDOT says rising gas and labor prices mean the fund's purchasing power is likely to be 20-percent less by then.

Commissioner Karl Browning says tapping the money now would let INDOT get started on those plans, including a three-billion-dollar plan to loosen bottlenecks on I-65 and 70 by making them six-lane highways from one end of the state to the other.

Browning argues spending the money now remains true to the purpose of the fund, since the money would be spent on long-term projects.

The House has already voted to open up the fund. A Senate committee is expected to vote next week

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