There’s no question that tolling one of Indiana’s interstates could generate serious cash to help maintain the state’s roads. But are taxpayers willing to pay a few bucks to travel highways that now are free?
Holcomb announced in September that fees along the 157-mile toll road would increase by 35 percent for heavy vehicles and that the state would in turn reap $1 billion to spend on new infrastructure projects.
Gov. Eric Holcomb announced his decision Thursday afternoon after the Indiana Department of Transportation released a strategic plan for interstate tolling that was mandated by a transportation infrastructure funding law passed in 2017.
The amendment to the state’s agreement with the private operator of the Indiana Toll Road requires the company to pay the state $1 billion and invest an additional $50 million in toll road improvements.
A proposed fee increase on heavy-duty commercial vehicles that use the Indiana Toll Road was negotiated without legislative involvement and with considerable secrecy, according to some Indiana lawmakers.
Authorities in two northwest Indiana counties are scheduled to decide over the next several weeks whether to proceed with a proposal to lease the Indiana Toll Road after the Australian-Spanish consortium that leased it went bankrupt.