2/2/2006Indiana: Toll Road Deal Gives Locals a Discount
Indiana's state House approves a toll road package after ensuring non-locals will pay a double-toll for the next ten years.
The Indiana House yesterday approved legislation to sell the Indiana Toll Roads to a Spanish-Australian consortium for $3.85 billion. The measure passed by a party-line 52-47 vote after Republican leaders agreed to freeze the toll rate for residents in the seven counties through which the 157 miles of road pass.
For the next ten years, locals will pay no more than $4.65 to traverse the length of the road while those unable or less likely to vote against legislators pushing the toll plan -- out-of-state motorists and Indiana residents from other parts of the state -- will pay $8 beginning in April. Fees will continue to increase for truckers and non-locals throughout the term of the 75-year lease. The legislation also authorizes ticket cameras to "enforce" the tolls against registered vehicle owners.
Legislators swept aside attempts to remove the "non-compete" clause that forbids improvements on public roads near the toll road. A similar provision in Sydney, Australia forced local authorities to shut down popular roads in order to force residents onto a toll road that had been losing money.
The Senate must now vote on the measure before it is sent to Governor Mitch Daniels, who has been a forceful advocate of the proposal. View the full text of the legislation in a 1.8mb PDF file at the source link below.