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Highway Bill Could Bring $5 Billion To Indiana
Updated December 7, 2015 7:55 AM | Filed under: Transportation
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(WASHINGTON) - Barriers separating commercial and passengers vehicles could be coming to Indiana highways. WLFI reports, it's all part of a bill passed by the U.S. House of Representatives.

The barriers are just one part of the FAST Act, an acronym for Fixing America's Surface Transportation. The bill would also give Indiana $5 billion to over the next five years to make improvements to infrastructure.

It's the first long-term highway re-authorization bill to pass in over a decade.

Republican U.S. Rep. Todd Rokita said he wanted to make sure two concepts were included in the bill. The first is the Critical Commerce Corridors, which uses barriers between passenger and commercial vehicles to improve efficiency and safety on highways.

The second concept is called the STICRS Act. The bill, introduced by congressman Rokita in July, requires manufacturers to post ratings for crash avoidance systems in all new cars to disclose new safety technologies.

However, Rokita said the best thing the bills offer isn't more money. He said it's the certainty that the money will be available when needed.

"You don't have to worry about where your funding is going to come from," said Rokita, "If you're going to be able to start a project, but not finish it. So all that worry and stress goes away for the state and local planners."

Rokita said being able to ensure $5 billion over a five-year period will keep road improvements continuing at a steady pace.

"The state and contractors for the state can now plan reasonably for our infrastructure needs, instead of the stop-gap measures that have been passed for several years now," said Rokita.

According to Rokita, the bill is fully paid. The money will be used to improve roads, bridges, transit systems and rail transportation.

It's too early to know exactly which Indiana roads will be the target of the money.

The Indiana Department of Transportation refused to comment to News 18 because the legislation is still pending.

The bill now goes to the President's desk for his signature.



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