Lawmakers say wider highways will aid commerce - 13 WTHR Indianapolis

Lawmakers say wider highways will aid commerce

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INDIANAPOLIS -

Indiana is known as the "Crossroads of America," but because the state does not tax goods stored here, it must maintain those roads to help ensure delivery.

"I feel like we need to analyze whether or not I-65 should be six lanes from Louisville to Chicago and I think we need to analyze whether I-70 should be six lanes from Richmond to Terre Haute," said State Sen. Luke Kenley (R-Noblesville).

Kenley is asking INDOT to conduct a feasibility study to determine how long that would take, how it should be done and, most important to the motorists we spoke to, how to pay for it.

"More lanes, less traffic. That's great to me, because I travel it a lot, but what's the cost?" said Steve Antonetti.

"I would love to have a six-lane highway, but with the economy as it is right now, I don't think it would be wise, because we don't have money to pay the taxes on it to pay for it," said Earline Oliver.

Governor Mitch Daniels is thinking the same thing, only he is thinking about a lane set aside on the interstate specifically for the commercial traffic.

"There ought to be a truck-dedicated lane all the way across this country, right through Indiana. That is conducive to commerce, at the speed of commerce," Daniels said.

In an industry where time is money and in a state where logistics is leading the way, the opinions of those driving the industry would be critical.

"The truck has its own lane, so the truck goes on one side and the car goes on one side. There is less accidents," said truck driver Singh Varshoeam.

"The strength and condition of our main roads is so important to us as a crossroads state that I want to stay ahead of that curve and plan ahead. I think it creates jobs and bears on a lot of things," Kenley said.

Reality is a long way down the road yet, but the discussion phase begins in January.

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