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Manning authors bill to pump the breaks on J-turn intersection funding, protect local interests

Last Updated on January 16, 2024 by Office of State Representative Ethan Manning

STATEHOUSE – State Rep. Ethan Manning (R-Logansport) during the 2024 legislative session is working to prohibit the Indiana Department of Transportation from funding additional J-turn intersections and to make sure local interests in road improvements are protected.

Manning said he authored House Bill 1129 after having hundreds of conversations over the past several years with concerned constituents about several existing and proposed J-turns along U.S. 24 and U.S. 31 in Cass and Miami counties. A J-turn is an alternative to traditional intersections on a four-lane highway that require motorists turn right in the same direction of traffic, merge into the left lane and then make a U-turn in the direction they intend to travel.

“While safety remains a priority, local mobility and access along with economic development have to be taken into account, and I don’t believe INDOT has adequately considered these possibilities for several proposed J-turns in our community and across the state,” Manning said. “I’ve continued to have numerous conversations with citizens who are concerned about the impact this will have on large trucks, farm equipment, public safety and emergency vehicles, and school buses using busy highways in our community and this legislation would help make sure that we’re listening to the public.”

Manning said that eliminating future J-turn intersections would save the state approximately $96 million that could be put toward other improvements that are publicly supported, and would encourage INDOT to prioritize interchanges or other types of intersection improvements. 

According to Manning, the bill would also allow the General Assembly to disapprove funding for certain projects on INDOT’s project priority list through legislation. He said this is important with the ongoing ProPEL US 30 and 31 study. He said there are numerous concerns with the current process that require future study and conversation. 

“Conversations regarding the future of an entire corridor like U.S. 31 have a major impact on our local communities and are too important to cede all final decision-making authority to a state agency,” Manning said. “If the legislature does not like a project on the department’s priority list, we should have every right to disapprove funding for that specific project. A blanket statutory prohibition silencing the legislature, who are the voice of the people, is wrong.”

House Bill 1129 is assigned to the House Roads and Transportation Committee for consideration. Watch session and committees live, and view legislation at iga.in.gov.  

SOURCE: News release from Office of State Representative Ethan Manning

State Rep. Ethan Manning (R-Logansport) represents House District 23, which includes portions of Cass and Miami counties.