INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – The price at the pump is set to spike this summer in Indiana in an effort to help fix the state’s crumbling roads.
Drive around Indiana’s streets, and the potholes might make it feel like a game of dodgeball. “I feel like the roads need some work, most definitely,” driver Jamie Cogeill said.
It’s a problem that is front and center at the Indiana Statehouse as Capitol Avenue is filled with holes. Help arrived Thursday just feet from the front steps.
With a stroke of a pen, Governor Eric Holcomb signed a road funding bill and head bumped to celebrate. “A truly historic moment in our state’s history,” Governor Holcomb said.
To fix Indiana’s roads and bridges, INDOT said it needs $1.2 billion a year for the next 20 years. To get there, lawmakers spent the 2017 session drafting a plan.
“We’re not increasing debt, and we’re not dumping the problem on our kids,” Senate Pro Tem David Long said.
To generate the money, the governor can add tolls. Next year, Hoosier car owners will pay a $15 fee. And this summer, the price at the pump will jump 10 cents a gallon.
“I don’t agree with it,” Cogeill said. “I feel like with the way the economy is now, all the prices have raised so much it’s getting impossible for people to survive almost.”
“I think that our roads are in pretty bad condition, and so if that’s the only way to do it, I think it’s good,” driver Heather Merrell said.
With the pump increase two months away, Governor Holcomb said Hoosiers will see results soon. “Well, I can assure you, come July, that you, and all of you are going to smell asphalt morning, noon, and night,” Governor Holcomb said.
It’s a scent he says will maintain Indiana’s moto as the Crossroads of America. “It’s going to truly connect Indiana to the world, and help bring the world back here to Hoosier soil,” Governor Holcomb said.
Fuel efficient vehicle owners will see extra fees. Hybrid owners will pay a $50 annual fee, and electric vehicle owners will pay a $150 annual fee.
All the vehicle fees start Jan. 1. As for tolling, INDOT will conduct studies to see where booths would go. For the gas jump, the pump signs will change overnight July 1. Republican leaders said the average Hoosier will spend $60 more a year because of this bill.