U.S. 30 traffic

Traffic moves eastbound on the U.S. 30 business corridor in Merrillville. The total of vehicle-miles traveled in the Region grew almost 40 percent from 2006 to 2016.

Traffic on the Region's roads has grown dramatically in recent years. Daily vehicle-miles traveled grew 38 percent from 2006 to 2016, ending the period at 30.9 million miles after starting at 22.3 million.

Meanwhile, the miles of roads those vehicles travel grew less than 5 percent, to 6,097 miles in 2016 from 5,829 in 2006.

Lake County's daily travel grew from 13.2 million miles in 2006 to 19.3 million in 2016; Porter County's from 4.9 million in 2006 to 6.9 million in 2016; and LaPorte County's from 4.1 million to 4.7 million.

The previous decade saw a smaller increase in traffic, with region-wide growth of about 12 percent.

The expanding wear-and-tear prompted calls for greater infrastructure spending, and that, along with state government's tendency toward funding sources more akin to "user fees" than wealth-based taxation, helped produce an infrastructure bill this year that increased the state's per-gallon gas tax by 10 cents and imposed other fees to create a funding flow expected to last 20 years.

INDOT and local agencies have begun amending their transportation infrastructure plans to provide an expanded and more detailed program for road and bridge improvements.

Traffic data is available on INDOT's website, www.in.gov/indot.

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Transportation reporter

Andrew covers transportation, real estate, casinos and other topics for The Times business section. A Crown Point native, he joined The Times in 2014, and has more than 15 years experience as a reporter and editor at Region newspapers.