Senator Joe Zakas
From State Senator
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: VIVIENNE PECK
TUESDAY, MARCH 25, 2003 (317) 232-9498
ZAKAS' RESOLUTION PASSES SENATE UNANIMOUSLY
Bill supports efforts of Indiana Congressional Delegation to seek
federal funding for U.S. 31 freeway project
INDIANAPOLIS -State Senator Joe Zakas (R-Granger) authored
a resolution to urge federal funding for the U.S. 31 expressway project, which
passed the Senate today unanimously. Speaker Pat Bauer (D-South Bend) will
sponsor the resolution in the House of Representatives.
"This resolution is one way that we can show support to
Congress for additional funding," said Zakas. "The expressway project
is crucial in order to improve safety and further economic development throughout
the U.S. 31 corridor."
Senate Concurrent Resolution 36 is co-authored by the 12 senators
whose districts are impacted by the corridor and supported by the U.S 31 Coalition.
The resolution encourages the efforts of the Indiana Congressional delegation
to seek federal funding for the U.S. 31 expressway project in an upcoming
highway projects bill before Congress. The corridor, stretching from Indianapolis
to South Bend, has been planned for improvement to a limited-access, interstate-quality
From an economic development standpoint, U.S. 31 connects Indiana's
two largest economic markets: Indianapolis and the South Bend and Elkhart
areas. Along the corridor, the population is growing at a rate of 50 percent
higher than the rate of growth in the rest of the state. Travel on U.S. 31
is projected to increase by 59 percent in 20 years, with traffic in some segments
growing by 100 percent.
According to the Indiana Department of Transportation, the economic
impact of a U.S. 31 expressway is projected to create over 5,000 jobs, save
billions of dollars in travel time reductions and return $3.20 in benefits
for each $1 spent to build it.
"It is in the interest of Hoosiers and north central Indiana
employers to have this expressway project completed as soon as possible,"
said Zakas. "We are supporting members of our Indiana Congressional Delegation,
who are working hard to secure those funds. With Interstate 69 to the east
and Interstate 65 to the west, my hope is the day will come when we can rename
the corridor 'Interstate 67'."
Congress has started hearings on the reauthorization of TEA-21,
the federal highway funding bill.
A radio feed relating to this press release can be found at
Zakas represents Senate District 11, which includes portions of Elkhart and
St. Joseph counties.