(INDIANAPOLIS) – Indiana is getting a new highway commissioner.
INDOT Commissioner Joe McGuinness is stepping down at the end of the week to head a new infrastructure consulting firm. The former Franklin mayor has run the department since Governor Holcomb took office five years ago.
McGuinness is leaving to head a consulting firm that will help businesses and local governments plan for their infrastructure needs, from making sure there’s adequate connections for new development to adjusting for newer technologies, like electric and self-driving vehicles.
McGuinness says the department has increased its list of road and bridge projects by 60% since his first year, when legislators approved a gas tax increase as the centerpiece of a 20-year road funding plan. With a fresh jolt of federal money coming in from last year’s infrastructure bill as well, McGuinness says Indiana should be on solid financial footing for construction and maintenance needs.
INDOT cut the ribbon in December on a new stretch of the I-69 extension through Martinsville, with plans to complete the project in 2024. The department will start work next year on a new bridge from Evansville into Kentucky, and has made progress toward the planned double-tracking of the South Shore commuter railroad in northern Indiana.
Holcomb has named INDOT CFO Mike Smith as McGuinness’s replacement.