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Indiana is tied with California for largest gas price increase from a year ago

Courtesy: Pixabay.com

You've seen them heading up, just in time for the Memorial Day weekend.

Indiana is tied with California for the largest gas price increase from a year ago.

Indiana is $3.13 a gallon Wednesday.

That's about six cents higher than Michigan and 16 cents higher than the national average.

Overall, prices have gone up 66 cents over the past year.

The increase here is partially driven by that 10-cent fuel tax increase enacted last year.

This is to help pay for the governor's highway improvement plan.

That's a $1.2 billion effort Governor Holcomb talked about last summer when he signed off on the tax increase.

But local drivers WSBT 22 spoke with Wednesday say that on top of the rising prices is causing them some budget pain of their own.

Memorial Day weekend is days away, but drivers here in Mishawaka are already feeling the impact of those gas prices.

“I drive kind of a boat so it goes through gas and with prices going up already. Winter time it was $2.80 to $2.60s. Kind of like that but it's over $3 again. It's kind of killing my bank,” said Zac Ganser, driver.

Last year Indiana passed an increase in the fuel tax of 10 cents a gallon.

The state uses that money to help fix roads and bridges.

INDOT says several local projects are in the works, but the fuel tax plays a small role in overall gas prices.

“Talk about the price of crude oil which is 50-percent higher in May of 2018 than it was in May of 2017. There are geo political factors demand so there is a lot of different factors that go into that,” said Adam Parkhouse, media relations director INDOT.

Statewide Indiana has an extra $350 million through the fuel tax to go towards infrastructure updates this year.

Parkhouse says that extra money has allowed five bridge projects, including repairs on the bridge along the US 31 Bypass over Edison Road in South Bend.

“They will come in and do a desk pour and a create a new surface on top of this bridge here. There are a couple of other projects that are in the works similar to this in other parts of the INDOT's northwest district. A couple in Marshall County and Pulaski County as well,” said Parkhouse.

While high gas prices are helping repair roads and bridges sooner, drivers say they'll have to make adjustments if the prices keep rising.

“I have to do a lot less driving. I have to find of avoid hanging out with some friends. A lot of friends live pretty far away. Having to drive further means I have to use more gas which means I'm out of it for work,” said Ganser.

WSBT 22 spoke to other drivers who say they plan to stay home for Memorial Day weekend because of the gas prices.

INDOT says the money collected from the fuel tax goes only to improve infrastructure throughout the state.

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