TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV)– The City of Terre Haute received a $1 million grant from the state to help improve roadways.

It’s part of the “Community Crossings” grant, which provided over $100 million to communities across the state this year. 

Mayor Duke Bennett said it’s the largest amount the city has received through the program, which began in 2016.

“We put in for [$1 million] every year, and we typically don’t get the maximum amount for whatever reason,” he said. “We’ve been seeking that for a little while and were very thankful yesterday when I found out we got the full million dollars.”

It’s the largest amount possible through the program. The city will match the money, according to Bennett.

“We have to match that with a million dollars. It’s a 50/50 grant process, so we’re going to be putting two million dollars into several significant streets in the city that need that extra work,” he said.

Bennett said the city grades the condition of each street every two years, as part of a mandatory process with the state. They look at the poorest graded streets each year, and determine which ones to pursue renovations on through a number of factors.

“We look at traffic utilization, areas around hospitals, schools, those kind of places always rank a little bit higher. And then we develop a list and then we apply for the funds,” he said.

The city will work portions of a number of streets. They are listed below:

  • Wabash Avenue
    • 35th Street to Highland Lawn Cemetery
  • Johnson Drive
    • From S. 3rd Place to 4th Street
  • Davis Avenue
    • From 3rd Street to 7th Street
  • 4th Street
    • From Hospital Lane to E. Davis Drive
  • 7th Street
    • From E. Davis Drive to Royse Drive
  • S. Fruitridge Avenue
    • From Wallace Avenue to I-70
  • Walnut Street
    • 3rd Street to 19th Street
  • Locust Street
    • 25th Street to Heritage Trail

Improving local infrastructure will go a long way to help drivers. Steve Finzel owns a local autocare company, Finzel’s Master Tech, and he has seen firsthand the damage potholes can cause.

“We see quite a bit of vehicles with rim damage, suspension damage from hitting potholes,” he said. “The most common thing is with a lot of the newer cars, they have low profile tires so very little sidewall on the tire, so when it hits that pothole, it not only pinches the tire against the rim and ruins the tire, it bends the rim.”

He thinks the grant will be helpful, and can hopefully save drivers money.

“I think that it’s great that we’re going to get a grant and get roads repaired because I know that when that happens, you don’t see the pothole coming and it can not only be dangerous, obviously causes a lot of damage to the car, and usually those repairs are very close to what people’s deductibles are,” Finzel said.

Bennett said he expects work to begin sometime in the Spring. He said the city will continue to pursue projects repairing residential, lesser-traveled streets with other funds. 

He said he was excited about the program.

“That’s state tax dollars at work, coming back,” Bennett said. “We all send our tax money in and it comes back to our community, it’s just great to have a million dollars to be able to put back in our local streets.”