HANCOCK COUNTY — More than $2.4 million of state funding will be spent improving Hancock County roads in coming months.
Seven Hancock County government units learned last week they received the state’s Community Crossings grant, a program that helps Indiana communities fund road projects. On Monday, Gov. Eric Holcomb awarded those communities a check.
While the county highway department received the largest — about $627,000 — to invest in roads outside of city and town limits, Hancock County’s smaller communities received hefty checks, too, officials said.
Much of the funding will go toward resurfacing roads to maintain them, but some streets and roads are slated to be completely reconstructed.
The local communities are among 396 Indiana cities, towns and counties to receive grants totaling $150 million.
The Indiana General Assembly created the Community Crossings grant in 2016 in an effort to improve roads and bridges across the state. Funds are awarded from the state’s local road and bridge matching grant fund.
To qualify, communities must provide a match. For communities larger than 10,000 people, the match must be 50 percent of the project’s total funding, while smaller communities are required to provide 25 percent.
The county highway department will invest about $1.2 million in maintaining county roads this year. Much of that work has already been done, said Gary Pool, county highway engineer.
Altogether, county crews worked on about 150 miles of road this summer, with construction wrapping up next week.
The work stretched across the county, he said. With a check in hand, Hancock County will reimburse itself for money already spent and will be able to begin planning projects for next summer knowing there’s money in the bank, he said.
In Greenfield, portions of 20 streets will be paved next year with the funding from the state, said street commissioner Tyler Rankins.
The city received about $281,600 from the state and will be able to improve 4.5 miles of road.
Historically, the city has enough money to pave just 1 mile, Rankins said. With help from the state, work that would typically take about three years to complete because of budget constraints will be done in one year, he said.
Major roads included in next year’s plans are Apple Street and Meridian Road. About one mile of Apple Street — from McKenzie Road to First Street — will be paved. Meridian Road will be paved from McKenzie Street to Main Street, about 1 mile.
McCordsville will invest the nearly $280,000 it received in resurfacing two county roads that fall in the town’s borders.
About 1 mile of County Road 600W — between county roads 650N and 750N — will be resurfaced. A mile of County Road 900N — from County Road 700W to 600W — will also be worked on.
Fortville will completely reconstruct Holiday Drive in the Helmcrest subdivision, a concrete road that’s needed attention for years, said Town Manager Joe Renner.
Without the money from the state — $436,500 — the town wouldn’t be able to complete the project within its budget, Renner said. Annually, the town budgets about $500,000 for street work, records show.
New Palestine officials say the grant is the largest the town has received in recent history. The town was granted about $330,000 and will invest $110,000 of its own funding to resurface some of the town’s roads in the worst condition. Bittner Road from U.S. 52 south about 2000 feet is on the list.
Staff writer Kristy Deer contributed to this report.
Hancock County communities were awarded more than $2.4 million in matching grants from the state’s Community Crossings program to invest in road and street projects.
Hancock County communities awarded funding are:
City of Greenfield: $281,606.30
Hancock County: $627,236.39
Town of Cumberland: $327,291.75
Town of Fortville: $436,500.00
Town of McCordsville: $279,588.75
Town of New Palestine: $330,000.00
Town of Shirley: $124,627.50
Source: Indiana Department of Transportation