The City of Columbus recently received $1 million from INDOT as part of the state’s $100 million Next Level Roads: Community Crossings Initiative award to 283 communities in Indiana. In addition, Bartholomew County received $589,471, bringing the total for our area to nearly $1.6 million for road and bridge improvements and construction. Columbus received $349,816 in Community Crossings funding in 2017.

Community Crossings was created by the Indiana General Assembly in 2016 with funds being awarded from the state’s local road and bridge matching grant fund. To qualify for funding, local governments must provide local matching funds — 50 percent for larger communities or 25 percent for smaller communities from a funding source approved for road and bridge construction, according to the state. They must also submit an Indiana Department of Transportation-approved asset management plan for maintaining existing roads and bridges.

Columbus plans to use its share of funding to make improvements next year on County Road 400N, 13th Street, a portion of Central Avenue, Cessna Drive, Interlake and Inwood drives, in addition to Cunningham Drive.

Bartholomew County will put the funding into its highway fund for work it plans to complete in 2019, said Danny Hollander, Bartholomew County highway engineer.  Since the roads it submitted to the state are already paved, the county will use its money toward overlay projects to be completed next year, Hollander said. That will include overlay work at Southern Crossing on county roads 400S and 450S.

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