Gov. Mike Pence addressed the Purdue Road School with a supportive and positive message for Hoosier transportation and infrastructure officials Wednesday afternoon.
The conference, organized by the Purdue School of Civil Engineering and Indiana Department of Transportation, celebrated 100 years of technical education and coordination of the state’s transportation infrastructure community. Roughly 2,400 transportation officials attended over 160 technical sessions held throughout Purdue’s campus.
After gubernatorial predecessor and Purdue President Mitch Daniels’ opening remarks, Gov. Pence, R-Ind., began his address by thanking INDOT officials for their work during what has continued to be a “very difficult season.”
“I couldn’t be more proud of the INDOT team,” Pence said. “This team and all the people they represent around the state of Indiana have worked their hearts out to keep our roads open.”
Before giving logistical and legislative specifics, Pence outlined his administration’s three-pronged approach to Indiana’s transportation infrastructure objectives following the Daniels era.
“The people of Indiana at the advent of 2013 were given much. And taking care of what we got, finishing what we started and continuing to think boldly about the future, I believe, is incumbent upon our administration,” Pence said.
The newly opened U.S. 231 bypass west of campus as well as the Hoosier Heartland State Road 25 were just a few examples of local projects cited by Pence that have improved the state as a whole. He praised the Interstate 69 south split completion as a model of Indiana’s commitment to innovation and efficiency.
“(The project) finished ahead of schedule, under-budget, at a time when Washington, D.C., couldn’t even keep the government open ... (It) showed me why Indiana is a state that works,” Pence said.
David Byers, R-Tippecanoe County Commissioner, agreed with Pence about infrastructure and enterprise-friendly projects.
“Infrastructure is what builds businesses and makes citizens happy,” Byers said. “He showed two good examples, and that is we were able to finish the 231 bypass and the Hoosier Heartland.”
In addition to the INDOT officials and local lawmakers, a major portion of the Road School conference attendees served as educators who also work in the private sector.