Indiana bill relies on heavier trucks to aid growth

By Keith Goble, Land Line state legislative editor | 2/9/2011

An Indiana House bill that is on the move is intended to boost economic development by opening up more access for heavier trucks.

The House Roads and Transportation Committee unanimously approved a bill that would create the River Ridge Commerce Corridor in southern Indiana. The corridor would essentially link the River Ridge Commerce Center, Charlestown State Park and a planned east-end Ohio River bridge.

Sponsored by Rep. Steve Stemler, D-Jeffersonville, the bill would establish the commerce corridor in an area that includes a section of state Road 62 in Clark County between Interstate 265 and state Road 3. The affected roadway would be designated as an extra-heavy-duty highway.

The designation would allow companies to use over-limit loads and wide truckloads to haul heavy equipment without needing special permits. The loads would be routed from barges at the Ports of Indiana at Jeffersonville to the warehouses or manufacturers at the commerce center.

?It is in the heart of what we hope will be the hub of this area?s economic future, and this bill offers critical components in attracting future development,? Stemler said in a statement.

According to a fiscal impact statement, the price tag to upgrade the affected roadway is nearly $5 million.

The bill ? HB1265 ? now awaits further consideration on the House floor. If approved there, it would move to the Senate.

To view other legislative activities of interest for Indiana, click here.

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