The Herald Bulletin

Overnight Update

Local Politics

March 13, 2014

County making pitch for federal funds

Eisenhower Bridge project a priority

ANDERSON — Madison County officials are traveling to the nation’s capital in an effort to secure federal funding for construction of a new bridge over White River in downtown Anderson.

The Madison County Council on Tuesday approved funding for a one-day trip to Washington, D.C., for the three county commissioners and county engineer to make their case to federal transportation officials.

The trip by Commissioners John Richwine, Steffanie Owens and Jeff Hardin and engineer Chuck Leser is tentatively set for April 2.

The group will meet with officials from the U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration, Sen. Joe Donnelly, Sen. Dan Coats and Rep. Susan Brooks.

The county, for the sixth time, is applying for $12.4 million in a Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grant for the reconstruction of the Eisenhower Bridge on Eighth Street.

The council approved a resolution that guarantees the local matching share of $4 million will be available for the project in 2016. The city of Anderson is providing $100,000 of the matching funds for utility relocation.

Leser said Madison County will be competing with communities around the U.S. for the $600 million that is available through the TIGER grant program.

He said the required environmental study for the reconstruction of the bridge has been completed.

“The resolution assures the federal government that the county will have the local matching funds of $3 (million) to $4 million for the project,” Leser said.

The county has several different options for the local match, which will not be needed until the fall of 2016, he said.

“The resolution has no funding mechanism commitment,” Leser said. “We want to show the Department of Transportation there are funding options.”

Leser said the purpose of the trip to Washington, D.C., is to discuss the project; once the application is submitted, there can be no contact with federal officials.

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