SOUTH BEND — St. Joseph County will see more than $48 million worth of road and bridge construction over the next five years as part of the Indiana "Next Level Roads" plan unveiled by Gov. Eric Holcomb.
The governor on Thursday morning announced the details for the first five years of Indiana's 20-year program to rebuild roads and bridges.
The plan includes investing $4.7 billion to resurface 10,000 miles of road and repair or replace about 1,300 bridges throughout the state.
The massive construction plan is being funded partly by tax increases that Holcomb and Republican state legislators made a priority this year.
During the legislative session that ended in April, a package that hikes more than 40 taxes and fees was approved. It includes a 10 cents-per-gallon increase in Indiana's fuel tax — hybrid owners will have to pay a $50 fee, while electric car owners will have to pay a $150 fee — as well as a new $15 vehicle registration fee.
State officials also expect that they will need to add tolls to some interstates in coming years to fully cover the construction plan.
For St. Joseph County, the money from the state is a significant boost.
Andy Kostielney, president of the county Board of Commissioners, estimated the county needs about $12 million to $15 million a year just to properly maintain its infrastructure. The county currently spends far less, about $5 to $7 million, for maintenance work.