WHITLEY COUNTY — Road improvements are on the way for Whitley County, as government officials learned last week that $1.3 million has been granted to the city of Columbia City and Whitley County government for road and bridge improvement projects.

The state granted a total of $115.3 million in state-matching funds to Indiana communities and government agencies through the Next Level Roads: Community Crossings Initiative, which has provided more than $500 million for construction projects since it was created by the Indiana General Assembly in 2016.

Columbia City received $735,900 and Whitley County received $592,113.25.

Thanks to the grant, Columbia City will do about $1 million in paving this summer, Mayor Ryan Daniel said, on a “lot of different streets across the whole city.”

The city ranked every street in the city based on their conditions.

“We’re hitting the worst, most challenging roads first,” he said.

Some city roads will get an overlay, another layer on the surface of the street, and others will be milled and filled.

“You’re going to see a lot across the city this summer,” Daniel said.

“While road construction can congest our frequently traveled routes, investing in infrastructure projects will spur economic development, create jobs and strengthen our transportation networks,” State Sen. Andy Zay said. “I’m eager to see the improvements these projects will have on our roadways and community.”

For the full list of projects awarded grant money this year, visit in.gov/indot/files.

Additionally, INDOT recently kicked off the road construction season, announcing that more than 1,100 projects are scheduled for construction in 2019.

As construction begins, INDOT reports that Hoosiers will see an increasing number of “Road Work Ahead” signs across the state.

INDOT urges drivers to slow down, avoid distractions and drive with extra caution in work zones.

To view a map of construction projects, visit entapps.indot.in.gov/dotmaps/nlri.