Indiana

Northern Indiana lawmaker questions Mike Pence's road improvement estimates

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The Republican chairman of Indiana’s House Roads Committee is raising questions about construction cost figures provided by Gov. Mike Pence’s administration.

Valparaiso Rep. Ed Soliday questioned during a Thursday committee hearing why a $300 million cost figure suddenly decreased by $50 million in recent weeks.

Soliday says the state needs to have a sober conversation about how much improving roads will cost and added that voters won’t trust lawmakers if “we keep moving the numbers around.”

Pence’s transportation commissioner, Brandye Hendrickson, told Soliday she could discuss the matter privately.

Democrats have criticized Pence for underfunding highway maintenance in the wake of an emergency closure of an Interstate 65 bridge near Lafayette this summer.

The Republican governor on Tuesday proposed an additional $1 billion in highway spending.

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