INDOT takes step toward possibly more tolling on highways

June 8, 2017

The Indiana Department of Transportation formally asked vendors Thursday for information regarding possible tolling on Interstates 65, 70 and 94, as required by the General Assembly.

The agency issued a request for information asking potential contractors for advice on planning a tolling program that can be expanded, The Times of Northwest Indiana reported.

A request for information, or RFI, is a formal information-gathering process that generally, but not necessarily, leads to a request for proposals to do necessary planning work.

"INDOT anticipates pursuing a broad interstate bridge tolling program," the RFI says. "The proposed actions are reconstruction and tolling of applicable bridges within the corridors and expansion of the current four-lane roadway sections to six lanes."

Responses to the RFI are due June 28.

A law passed this year by the General Assembly and signed by Gov. Eric Holcomb required INDOT to investigate tolling with the intention of creating $5 billion in funding for the state's roads and bridges. Higher gas taxes and vehicle registration fees also are part of the funding plan.

The law requires INDOT to perform feasibility studies and seek a Federal Highway Administration waiver that would allow tolling.

INDOT also published a draft contract with the engineering firm HDR to create a tolling feasibility report for all the state's interstates. The agreement lists several tasks, including creating a project management plan, doing traffic and revenue analyses, performing a public survey to gauge support for tolling, and doing an assessment of potential economic impacts.

The report is due Oct. 31, according to the draft agreement.


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