Indiana Toll Road
|Indiana East–West Toll Road|
|Maintained by Indiana Toll Road Concession Company|
|Length:||156.28 mi (251.51 km)|
|Existed:||August 1956 – present|
| I-90 entire state
I-80 from Lake Station to Ohio state line
|West end:||I-90 / Chicago Skyway at Illinois state line|
|I-69 near Angola|
|East end:||I‑80 / I‑90 / Ohio Turnpike at Ohio state line|
The Indiana Toll Road, officially the Indiana East–West Toll Road, is a toll road that runs for 156.28 miles (251.51 km) east–west across northern Indiana from the Illinois state line to the Ohio state line. It has been advertised as the "Main Street of the Midwest". The entire toll road is designated as part of Interstate 90, and the segment from Lake Station east to the Ohio state line is a concurrency with Interstate 80. The toll road is owned by the Indiana Finance Authority and operated by the Indiana Toll Road Concession Company, which is owned by IFM Investors.
The toll road is signed with the following route numbers:
- Interstate 80 (I-80), after having run concurrently with I-94 from the Illinois state line to Toll Road exit 21 Lake Station, is part of the Toll Road from there to the Ohio state line.
- I-90 runs the entire length of the 157 miles (253 km) toll road, from the Illinois state line to the Ohio state line.
Exit points are based on the milepost system, with exits starting at 0 at the Illinois state line, and increasing to exit 153 at the Eastpoint toll barrier near the Ohio state line (technically, not an exit, as the only access from there is to the Ohio Turnpike, but toll tickets issued at the barrier are marked "Entry 153"). The Toll Road opened in 1956 with sequential exit numbering, which was converted to the current mileage-based scheme in 1981. The original number sequence was amended slightly in 1964 with the opening of the then-Burns Harbor, now Lake Station exit.
The farthest it gets from the Michigan state line or Lake Michigan is about 10 miles (16 km). Although it never actually enters Michigan, the toll road lies within 10 miles (16 km) of the Michigan state line between La Porte, Indiana and the Ohio state line. Looking north at exit 121 (State Road 9), the "Welcome to Michigan" sign is visible in the distance. At one point in northern Indiana, in Greenfield Township in LaGrange County at approximately mile 129.4, the toll road comes within about 200 yards (180 m), or 0.1 miles (0.16 km), from the Michigan border.
In December 2006, ITR Concession Company announced that a South Bend student, Andrea Herbster, will receive $5,000 toward her educational expenses for being selected as the grand prizewinner of the Indiana Toll Road logo design contest. The new ITRCC logo roll out occurred in the spring of 2007.
The Indiana Toll Road was publicly financed and constructed during the 1950s. It opened in stages, east to west, between August and November 1956. The formal dedication ceremony was held on September 17, 1956.
The final course of the Toll Road was the northern of four planned alignments. In addition to the east–west toll road, a north–south toll road was planned, roughly along the path of today's I-65, but the plan was dropped after the Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1956 was passed.
Originally the I-94 designation was applied to the highway west of where the current interchange with I-94 was eventually built, with I-90 following I-80 to the west along the Borman Expressway as I-94 does now, the completed portions of the Borman being designated as I-80, I-90, and I-294. The current arrangement was applied around 1965, to avoid confusion (had been caused by I-80, I-90, and I-94 all changing roadways there), and as a result, a stretch of I-94 is actually farther south than I-90, and I-90 runs the entire length of the Indiana Toll Road. (I-294 was cut back to the Tri-State Tollway at that time, and thus no longer entered Indiana.)
Several interchanges on the Toll Road were constructed between 1980 and 1985 as part of a bond sale in October 1980.
Similar to the Chicago Skyway transaction in 2004, on June 29, 2006, Indiana received $3.8 billion in an auction from a consortium made up of the Spanish construction firm Cintra and the Macquarie Atlas Roads (MQA) of Australia in exchange for the right to maintain, operate and collect tolls for the following 75 years. The two companies formed the Indiana Toll Road Concession Company to operate the road. Goldman Sachs & Co. was reported to have earned some $20 million in fees for putting together the ITR transaction. Mark Florian, who worked on both toll road deals, was subsequently named third-in-charge and chief operating officer of a newly structured municipal finance and infrastructure group at Goldman. Florian was to move from Chicago to the New York office.
The Indiana Toll Road Commission operated the toll road from its inception until 1981. The Indiana Department of Transportation operated the toll road between 1981 and 2006. On April 1, 1983, the State of Indiana established the Indiana Toll Finance Authority, renamed the Indiana Transportation Finance Authority in April 1988, and renamed the Indiana Finance Authority in May 2005 after consolidation with several other state financial agencies.
The Cintra–Macquarie joint-venture assumed operation of the Toll Road from INDOT on June 30, 2006, after the Indiana Supreme Court dismissed a legal challenge by opponents attempting to derail the deal following the failure of the opponents to post a bond. The same partnership had acquired a 99-year lease on the adjoining Chicago Skyway in Illinois in 2004. The operator of the road filed for bankruptcy in September 2014, citing lower than projected traffic volumes and revenues.
Major Moves is the name of a plan conceived by Governor Mitch Daniels to lease the toll road for 75 years to an Australian-Spanish consortium for an upfront payment of $3.8 billion. Part of the proceeds will fund a portion of the planned extension of I-69 through southwestern Indiana.
Regarding the legislation, Daniels said "You're either for this bill or you're against our future", at a statehouse rally in Indianapolis on February 28, 2006. Specifically the legislation authorizes the governor to establish a similar public-private partnership agreement for design, construction, and operation of the proposed Southern Indiana Toll Road (SITR), which would make up 117 miles (188 km) of the planned 142-mile (229 km) extension of I-69 from Indianapolis to Evansville. On November 9, 2006, Daniels announced that the I-69 extension would not be tolled; he abandoned the idea of building the I-69/SITR for two reasons: while there is substantial bi-partisan support for building I-69, constructing it as a toll road proved to be widely unpopular. More significantly, several firms[who?] interested in the SITR deal determined that a toll road through southwest Indiana was not economically feasible at the present time. In lieu of the SITR, I-69 will be built using $700 million of the Major Moves payout for the section from I-64/I-164 to Crane Naval Surface Warfare Center. It is expected that the remaining half of the I-69 extension from Crane to Indianapolis will be built using traditional federal/state highway funds.
Distribution of Major Moves funding
On September 15, 2006, funds were distributed by an electronic wire transfer to the seven counties through which the toll road runs. The list below details each county's total share in the Major Moves money. Some of the funds from each counties' distribution was diverted to each city or town within the country. Each county auditor will be responsible for distributing a portion of the money to each city and town.
- Elkhart County: $40 million
- La Grange County: $40 million
- Lake County: $15 million
- La Porte County: $40 million[a]
- Porter County: $40 million
- Steuben County: $40 million
- St. Joseph County: $40 million
- Total distribution amount will be $25 million if Laporte County joins the Northwest Indiana Regional Development Authority by September 15, 2006. If not a member by September 15, 2006, then the total distribution amount will be $40 million.
Opposition to Major Moves
Opponents of the legislation filed a lawsuit in St. Joseph County in late April 2006. Following roughly two weeks of arguments, Judge Michael Scopelitis ruled in favor of the State of Indiana, declaring the lawsuit brought by opponents a public lawsuit, thus requiring the plaintiffs to post a bond of $1.9 billion for the case to proceed. In response, plaintiffs appealed Scopelitis' ruling to the Indiana Supreme Court, which on June 20, 2006, in a 4–0 decision, upheld Judge Scopelitis' earlier decision, paving the way for the deal to lease the Indiana Toll Road to proceed as scheduled on June 30, 2006.
The Libertarian Party of LaPorte County opposed Major Moves quite vocally, proclaiming that "Pirates [have] return[ed] to the shores of Lake Michigan" in a news release. The toll road passes through LaPorte County and also has two toll gates in that county.
Elected officials and candidates for office in many toll road counties expressed concerns that the share of funds being allocated to projects in and around Indianapolis was too great. "This is another time where they're taking resources we use to develop our part of the state and taking them down to Indianapolis," said Rep. Scott Pelath (Michigan City). "We've always felt like it's Indianapolis versus the rest of the state," said Rep. Robert Kuzman (Crown Point). "So far, Indianapolis is winning this battle."
Indiana House Democratic leader Pat Bauer of South Bend issued a written statement the day before funding was distributed to the counties mocking Major Moves. “Now that the deal is done, the governor and officials in his administration have traveled the state to claim that the sale has financed every major road project scheduled over the next decade,” Bauer said. “The fact is that most of these projects already were on course to be completed, without any assistance from the sale of the toll road."
Between the Westpoint barrier toll, near the Illinois state line, and the Portage barrier at milepost 24, tolls are collected by fixed-amount tolls at exit and entrance ramps.
Between the Portage barrier, east to the Eastpoint barrier toll, near the Ohio state line, it is operated as a closed ticket system toll road, where one receives a ticket upon entering and pays a pre-calculated amount based on distance traveled when exiting. Standard passenger cars are charged a toll of $4.15 for i-Zoom users and $8.10 cash along the section from Portage to Eastpoint, with an extra $0.50 for i-Zoom users and $1.90 cash at the Westpoint barrier.
Originally the entire toll road was on a closed ticket system, with Westpoint at current exit 5, roughly under the East 141st Street overpass. This changed after the Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) takeover in 1981. Effective June 25, 2007, the Indiana Toll Road began electronic toll collection with the i-Zoom system. i-Zoom is fully compatible with the E-ZPass and I-Pass electronic toll collection systems. Indiana became the 12th state to use the E-ZPass system.
The i-Zoom brand name was retired starting in September 2012; the ETC system has been rebranded as E-ZPass instead, in an effort to aid out-of-state motorists who may not be familiar with the i-zoom brand.
For toll rates, with and without E-ZPass, for various types of vehicles (e.g. number of axles) see: http://www.ezpassin.com/vehicle-rates-by-class/
Like all other toll highways built in the 1950s, the Indiana Toll Road has had service areas (called travel plazas) since its opening. Originally, there were eight pairs of travel plazas located approximately every 18 miles (29 km). Of these, five featured sit-down restaurants operated by Hosts International while the other three had only snack bars. Each travel plaza was named after a prominent Indiana native or resident. Gasoline and other auto services were available at all travel plazas. Originally, various oil companies including Standard Oil, Sinclair, Pure, Gulf, Texaco and Citgo operated each of the travel plazas. Later, Standard Oil, later Amoco and now BP, assumed operations at all travel plazas. Currently BP operates the three western travel plazas while Mobil operates the two easternmost pairs.
The westernmost snack bar at milepost 37.5 remained open until the mid-70s and is now used as a "Truck Only Parking" rest area with no facilities. The other two at mileposts 72.9 and 108 were closed in 1972, although the one at 108 was also converted into a truck parking area without facilities. All were demolished except for one, the former Benjamin Harrison snack bar on the eastbound side at milepost 72.9. It presently serves as a state police station and has no public facilities. The restaurant interiors were remodeled into short-order cafeterias in the late 1970s when Gladieux Food Services took over operations and have since been remodeled once again for fast food service. However, the original buildings remain relatively unchanged from the outside.
On June 17, 2015, Ken Daley, the new CEO of the Indiana Toll Road Concession Company, announced that all of the original 1955 travel plazas will be demolished and replaced within the next five years.
As of July 2015, the Booth Tarkington service area, the eastern most in Indiana, was largely abandoned, with all of the food services boarded up and the bathrooms largely in disrepair.
Part of the agreement to privatize operations of the Indiana Toll Road is to invest $600 million in the ITR during the first nine years of the lease. This is above and beyond the $3.8 billion being invested by the State of Indiana in Major Moves projects. More than $300 million has already been invested in improving the Indiana Toll Road. Some examples include: third-lane expansion project at $250 million; electronic toll collection (i-Zoom) at $40 million; and Toll Plaza expansions (MP 1, 23, 156) at $9 million total.
Included in the plans is adding a third lane in each direction in the most congested area of the Indiana Toll Road: from MP 10–15.5. The third-lane expansion was completed in December 2011. The 10-year Bridge Capital Improvement plan is also under way, which will repair and rehabilitate nearly every structure on the ITR over the next 10 years. The lease agreement also requires ITRCC to maintain or improve the condition of the Toll Road to standards set forth by state and federal law.
|County||Location||mi||km||Old exit||New exit||Destinations||Notes|
|Lake||Hammond||0.00||0.00||I-90 west / Chicago Skyway west – Chicago||Continuation into Illinois|
|0.08||0.13||0||0||US 12 / US 20 / US 41 (Indianapolis Boulevard) – Chicago||Westbound exit and eastbound entrance|
|1.06||1.71||Westpoint Toll Barrier|
|2.97||4.78||3||SR 912 (Cline Avenue)||Eastbound exit and westbound entrance|
|4.18||6.73||1||5||US 41 (Calumet Avenue) – Hammond|
|Gary||9.52||15.32||10||US 12 / SR 912 (Cline Avenue) – Gary|
|14.54||23.40||14B||SR 53 (Broadway) – Gary Works|
|16.90||27.20||3||17||I-65 south / US 12 / US 20 – Indianapolis||I-65 exit 262.|
|Lake Station||20.68||33.28||4||21||I-80 west / I-94 / US 6 / SR 51 – Detroit, Chicago, Des Moines||West end of I-80 concurrency|
|23.95||38.54||Portage Toll Barrier|
|Chesterton||30.66||49.34||5||31||SR 49 – Chesterton, Valparaiso||Serves Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore and Indiana Dunes State Park|
|LaPorte||New Durham Township||38.91||62.62||6||39||US 421 – Michigan City, Westville|
|Center Township||48.80||78.54||7||49||SR 39 – La Porte|
|St. Joseph||South Bend||72.29||116.34||72||US 31 – South Bend, Plymouth, Niles|
|76.46||123.05||8||77||SR 933 – South Bend||Serves University of Notre Dame|
|Harris Township||82.64||133.00||83||SR 331 (Capital Avenue) – Mishawaka|
|Elkhart||Elkhart||91.55||147.34||9||92||SR 19 – Elkhart|
|95.98||154.46||96||CR 17 – Elkhart|
|Bristol||101.12||162.74||101||SR 15 – Bristol, Goshen|
|York Township||107.21||172.54||10||107||SR 13 to US 131 – Middlebury, Constantine|
|LaGrange||Howe||120.23||193.49||11||121||SR 9 – Howe, LaGrange, Sturgis|
|Steuben||Fremont||143.53||230.99||12||144||I-69 / SR 120 / SR 127 south – Angola, Fort Wayne, Lansing||Serves Pokagon State Park|
|York Township||152.50||245.42||Eastpoint Toll Barrier|
|156.28||251.51||I‑80 east / I‑90 east / Ohio Turnpike east – Toledo||Continuation into Ohio|
|1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi
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- [dead link]
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- Indiana Toll Road
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