Governor Eric Holcomb and Indiana Department of Transportation Commissioner Joe McGuinness announced on April 29 that Jennings County — along with 218 other Indiana cities, towns, and counties — is a recipient of a combined $100.2 million in state matching funds for local road projects through Community Crossings, a component of the Governor’s Next Level Roads program. Jennings County alone is to receive $1 million of the $100.2 million allotment.

Commissioner Matt Sporleder applied for the grant which will be used entirely for roads and bridges.

“Superior transportation infrastructure — from interstates to local roads and everything connecting in between — make our communities safer attractive places to do business and create jobs,” Governor Holcomb said. “Thriving communities, in turn, provide exceptional places for Hoosiers to call home and raise families. With that in mind, I’m so pleased to invest and partner with local leaders to deliver on high-priority projects that keep Indiana moving forward.”

The Community Crossings initiative has provided more than $931 million in state matching funds for local construction projects since 2016. Communities submitted applications for funding during a highly competitive call for projects held in January. Applications were evaluated based on need and current conditions and impacts to safety and economic development. Funding for Community Crossings comes from the state’s local road and bridge matching grant fund.

“Community Crossings is a major asset to Indiana cities, towns and counties as they build and modernize local roads and bridges,” INDOT Commissioner Joe McGuinness said. “The state’s funding partnership allows local partners to tackle larger scale project more quickly than would otherwise be possible, maximize their resources to complete more projects and achieve the best possible value for Hoosiers.”

To qualify for funding, local governments must provide local matching funds, 50% for larger communities or 25% for smaller communities, from a funding source approved for road and bridge construction. They must also submit an INDOT-approved asset management plan for maintaining existing roads and bridges. State law requires annually that 50% of the available matching funds be awarded to communities within counties with a population of 50,000 or fewer. State lawmakers identified long-term funding for Community Crossings as part of House Enrolled Act 1002, passed by the legislature and signed into law by Gov. Holcomb in April 2017.

Sporleder says the matching funds for the grant will come from county highway funds.

The next call for projects in Community Crossings will open in July 2021.