Congressman Greg Pence Seeks to Codify ROUTES Initiative to Recognize Rural America’s Infrastructure Needs

April 19, 2021
Press Release

Washington, D.C. – Congressman Greg Pence (IN-06) introduced legislation that seeks to codify the Trump Administration’s Rural Opportunities to Use Transportation for Economic Success (ROUTES) Initiative – that would recognize the infrastructure needs of rural communities across America.

The program first introduced by the Department of Transportation in 2019, works to ensure that rural communities get their proportionate share of federal funding for infrastructure – including airports, railways, roads and highways. The program will also allow for technical assistance for local communities to apply for the federal funds.

Much like in many parts across the country, Indiana’s Sixth Congressional District is dependent upon reliable transportation infrastructure that drives the Hoosier state – and nation’s economy.

“Indiana is the ‘Crossroads of America’ – we see billions in commerce come through our state via airports, highways, and railways. In rural parts of the country, we are just as dependent, if not more, on reliable, safe and updated infrastructure,” said Congressman Pence. “I came to Congress to guarantee Hoosiers back at home had a voice here in Washington and fighting for common-sense legislation like the ROUTES Act will ensure our state can continue to stay competitive with others across the nation.”

In the 116th Congress, as a member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, Rep. Pence included the ROUTES initiative as a top FY21 appropriations priority and authored an amendment to include this legislation in H.R. 2, the Moving Forward Act.

“In 2019 the City of Rushville experienced an unusually large amount of stopped train traffic that literally cut our entire community in half, not only causing major inconveniences to our residents and businesses but putting our community at risk for a major safety crisis due to our fire and rescue being on one side of the tracks and our hospital on the other,” said Mayor Pavey, City of Rushville, Indiana. “This legislation will give rural communities like ours the opportunity to proactively investigate solutions thanks to technical and financial assistance that would be made available to better meet our needs and the needs of our region.  We are thankful that this legislation is being considered.”

“The ROUTES Act strengthens rural America’s ability to be competitive in securing Federal resources to complete critical transportation projects that will improve safety and drive economic competitiveness in all parts of the country,” said Brandye Hendrickson, Deputy Director of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials and former Deputy Commissioner of the Federal Highway Administration.

“One of the biggest challenges we face in rural communities is adequate capital to safely and effectively build, repair or maintain infrastructure that connects us to regional employment centers and more populated cities and help our rural community to thrive,” said Mayor Bob G. Courtney, City of Madison, Indiana. “Transportation is the common ingredient that allows a community like Madison, IN to expand its tourism economy, grow its manufacturing base, and offer additional educational access. Roads are our largest capital expenditure but with a program like ROUTES, we would have access to grants to fund our projects and expand our opportunities.”