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[r29] Column: Warmer weather means road construction
Start Date: 4/23/2014Start Time: 12:00 AM
End Date: 4/23/2014
Entry Description
Warmer weather means road construction

I’m sure many of you have noticed the significant uptick in construction already underway throughout Hamilton County, especially with the closure of U.S. 31 in Carmel and the work on I-69. Anytime a major roadway is closed, it adds to the congestion and stress on the surrounding areas. However, with this, it is a sign of continued progress and employment for workers. 
 
In downtown Noblesville, the construction of the streets and railroad tracks around the Government and Judicial Center has added some interesting traffic patterns for the past couple of weeks. It may be an inconvenience, but it is a project that was certainly needed. This is always the time of year when the orange cones start to pop up like spring flowers.  It will be a busy summer, and it will be great when these projects are completed. 
 
As a part of National Work Zone Awareness Week held earlier this month, we have been actively urging motorists to be careful in work zones and to be mindful of their surroundings. Sadly, despite everyone’s best efforts, whether it is state and local officials or industry groups, the U.S Department of Transportation just released data from 2012 noting that 609 people died in highway work zone crashes – an increase of 19 fatalities compared to 2011. 
 
We need to reverse this trend, and everyone has a role to play in protecting construction workers’ lives. By simply slowing down, the chances for an accident are greatly reduced. Between getting kids to school, rush hour traffic and making meetings on time, we are all in a hurry, but it should not be at the expense of others. Please be considerate by not texting while driving and look out for fellow Hoosiers working to make Indiana a better state.
 
In order to increase safety of all Hoosiers on the roads, I supported a couple of bills this session that will make changes to various parts of the law dealing with transportation and motor vehicles. We worked to heighten safety for workers by updating work zone laws. We also wanted to help drivers at railroad crossings by requiring new sight lines to be determined by geographic characteristics instead of minimum distances. Scooters and mopeds will also require certain regulations depending on the size of the engine. All of these laws will benefit those working, driving and traversing on Hoosier roads.
 
Lastly, I was proud to advocate for our agenda this year that included appropriating up to $400 million dollars for road construction projects. This money was already set aside, and due to the harsh winter we had, there were a handful of major projects that needed the funding now to get underway. The federal government will provide substantial support as well as a part of its matching grant program for state projects, meaning a stronger, Hoosier infrastructure and more Hoosiers working on our roadways. 
 
I hope everyone had a great Easter weekend and was able to enjoy the beautiful warm weather. I am looking forward to all of the great local events this spring and summer. I hope to see everyone out and about in the community!

-30-
Contact Information:
Name: Nicholas Goodwin
Phone: (317) 232-9831
Email: nicholas.goodwin@iga.in.gov
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