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Partnership prioritizes highway projects

March 10th, 2015

News Coverage:

March 10, 2015 1:03 AM

Partnership prioritizes highway projects

Dave Gong The Journal Gazette

The Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership on Monday released the region’s first-ever prioritized list of regional interstate projects.

Thirteen projects were on the list, which was developed by the region’s 10 local economic development organizations. Projects were segmented into three tiers in order of priority. Potential projects in Allen, Adams, DeKalb, Noble, and Whitley counties were identified along portions of U.S. 6, U.S. 30 and U.S. 33.

According to the assessment, each project received an Economic Development Impact Profile to determine the impact of potential projects to the county or counties in which the selected highways reside.

Included in the necessary criteria for identifying a potential project was a need to connect the project to the “Regional Spine,” which comprises key transportation arteries for freight traffic in and out of northeast Indiana.

The assessment notes that U.S. 30 and U.S. 33 are a part of the National Highway System and are important to the country’s economy, defense and mobility.

U.S. 6 was identified as a “Principle Arterial” – a highway that provides access to a major port, airport, public transportation facility or intermodal transportation facility.

“Each of these projects has strong connectivity to the Northeast Indiana Regional Spine and non-spine highway corridors, has strong proximity to existing business and industry as well as sites planned for future development, and is highly used by commercial traffic,” the assessment states.

Regional leaders will use the report released Monday to raise awareness to infrastructure needs and lobby for future infrastructure funding at the state level.

The full report can be found online at www.neindiana.com/docs/documents/northeast-indiana-regional-interstate-assessment.pdf.