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Economic Outlook

Transportation and Infrastructure Blog Post

November 27, 2018 (Updated: 7:55 PM)
Author Jeff Rea

About Jeff

Jeff Rea is currently the President & CEO of the South Bend Regional Chamber of Commerce. Jeff has over 20 years of executive leadership experience in our region while working in areas such as Economic Development, Business Development, City Planning, Marketing, and Local Government. Jeff has a degree from Campbell University in Buies Creek, NC and executive management continuing education work at the University of Notre Dame.

Welcome to our show and to my weekly blog where I give you a sneak peek into this week’s show. If this is your first time, thank you for joining us. If you are a regular, thank you for your loyal support. We are working hard to keep on top of key issues impacting our local economy, and believe we have a good one for you this week.

Construction season is winding down fast. Usually, about December 1, the asphalt plants close down due to weather signaling the end of the paving season. By now, you, like me, are tired of the orange barrels. It seems sometime like there are only two seasons when it comes to roads, winter and construction season.

Those infrastructure improvements are critical though, essential to companies seeking to move goods and services as well as for you and me trying to get to the places we need to go. This week, we decided to dig a little deeper into road and other infrastructure improvements and talk about how those improvements drive economic growth.

We drafted two experts to join us for the conversation. They are:

  • James Turnwald, who heads up the Michiana Area Council of Governments (MACOG); MACOG is a voluntary organization of local governments that studies and attempts to resolve areas of interlocal issues like transportation, transit, economic development, environment, and other issues that impact the region.
  • Bryce Carpenter, from Conexus, Indiana. Conexus works to accelerate, promote and grow Indiana’s Advanced Manufacturing and Logistics economy by leading innovative collaborations between industry, academic and public sector partners.

We covered a wide variety of topics. Want to know more about how road funding works, this is the show for you, Want to hear about how projects are prioritized, or what the status of current projects are, you better tune in. In the end, my hope is that you pass those orange barrels with a better understanding of how the work they are protecting is improving Indiana’s economy.

Finally, my Co-Host, George Lepeniotis, and our Producer Patrick Meehan, took a road trip of their own, heading up US 31 north towards Benton Harbor near where it deadends at Napier Avenue. Years ago, a butterfly or a bat, some sort of native species, halted construction and the ultimate connection to I-94. That project is back on the books again, you’ll hear about whether that connection will ever be finalized. Tune in for an update.

I hope you enjoy the show!

Remember, you can connect with us a variety of ways. Feel free to email me at jrea@sbrchamber.com; follow me on Twitter at @Jeff_Rea, follow the station on Twitter @wnitpublictv, or like us on Facebook.

One final reminder, you can catch the show Tuesday’s at 7:00 p.m. and Sunday’s at 12:30 p.m. on WNIT. You also can catch your favorite episodes anytime at https://www.wnit.org/economicoutlook/