Former Gov. Mitch Daniels' Newsroom

Contact: Jane Jankowski
Phone: 317/232-1622

For Immediate Release: Sep 26, 2005
Governor's "Major Moves" News Conference Statement

We often speak of “aiming higher” in Indiana, and in no realm is this more essential than the economic. Where the prosperity of Hoosiers is concerned, we cannot aim too high or dream too big.

We cannot achieve a top-tier economy without a top-tier transportation system. To make sure that no Hoosier community is left behind, and that Indiana maximizes its opportunity to become the nation’s logistics and distribution capital, we must make major moves, and bring into being a system of roads, bridges, rail lines, ports, and airports second to none.

We envision an Indiana with a reborn Northwest corner, with new means of mobility for both goods and people, with intermodal ports and a major airport serving not just our state but our neighbors. We intend a modernized, state-of-the-art East-West Toll Road, and a full complement of connecting secondary roads across the northern tier of our state.

We aim to finish the Hoosier Heartland Corridor, linking a host of once-strong local communities with each other and with the markets of the world. We seek to connect our north and central regions by an enhanced Highway 31; to create the long-desired “Fort to Port” linkage of our northeast to states further east; to turn loose enormous growth potential in southeastern Indiana by the early completion of bridges across the Ohio; and to uplift our southwest quadrant and unite our state by extending I-69 from corner to corner.

We also seek to construct all cost-effective projects now on the books of the state. And to do all of this in the shortest time possible.

Very little of this will happen on a business as usual basis. Without new approaches that stretch dollars and access new funding sources, only a fraction of these projects will happen within the next decade. Some will never happen.

The more creative and aggressive we are, the more we can build and the sooner we can begin reaping the benefits in jobs and dollars that our major moves will trigger. And the jobs benefits of all this additional activity during the construction period alone would be enormous.

The steps we propose to take or to explore have all been used successfully elsewhere. We cannot know that every one will succeed here, but if we fail to try we will never know how many jobs we missed out on or dreams we left unfulfilled.

A state that aspires to greatness has to think big and act boldly. That’s the kind of state we want Indiana to be. It’s time to make major moves and a major difference in the level of prosperity we leave to our children.