The City of Columbus was presented the Accelerate Indiana Municipalities (Aim) Local Government Collaboration Award at the Aim Ideas Summit Annual Awards Luncheon, held on October 3, 2018 in French Lick.

The 42ndAnnual Aim Annual Awards program, presented by Umbaugh, recognizes communities and individuals in municipal government for excellence and outstanding achievement. A nine-member panel of qualified judges selected this year’s winners from a competitive field of nominees from around the state.

The City of Columbus won the award for the collaboration between the City, State of Indiana, Bartholomew County, Louisville & Indianapolis Railroad/CSX and Cummins, Inc. to address the issue of the projected increase in traffic with delays, which will cause an estimated $34.4 million in economic impact at the Indiana SR46 and Indiana SR11 intersection. Without a solution, the increase in trains, estimated to grow from 8 per day to 22 per day, would significantly disrupt productivity and the quality of life for Columbus residents and area businesses.

“In order to grow and enhance our state’s quality of place, working together is a must,” said Aim CEO Matt Greller.  “Local governments have a long history of working together, [but] what I believe makes the Columbus project so special is that it also includes the State of Indiana as a key collaborator.”

The collaborative parties identified a solution that provides a grade separated railroad crossing and eliminates the vehicular delay at the intersection. The State of Indiana agreed to pay 50% of the project costs, while the City of Columbus, Bartholomew County, LIRC, CSX, and Cummins, Inc. came together to fund the remaining the project costs.