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The Indiana Toll Road, officially the Indiana East-West Toll Road is a 157 mile toll road that runs east-west across northern Indianamarker from the Illinois state line to the Ohio state line. It is a part of the New York-Chicago Toll Road system, and has been advertised as the "Main Street of the Midwest".

It is owned by the Indiana Finance Authority and operated by the Indiana Toll Road Concession Company, a joint-venture between Spanish Cintra Concesiones de Infraestructuras de Transporte and Australian Macquarie Infrastructure Group.

Route Numbers

The Indiana Toll Road is part of the U.S. Interstate Highway System which runs 157 miles through Indianamarker connecting the Chicago Skywaymarker to the Ohio Turnpike.

The toll road is signed with the following route numbers:



  • Interstate 90 runs the entire length of the 157-mile toll road, from the Illinois state line to the Ohio state line.


Tolls

Between the Westpoint barrier toll, near the Illinois state line, and the Portagemarker barrier at mile post 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 $6.75 cash along the section from Portage to Eastpoint, with an extra $0.50 for i-Zoom users and $1.25 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 INDOT takeover in 1981. (see the History section).

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 becomes the 12th state to use the E-ZPass system.

Facts

Similar to the Chicago Skywaymarker transaction in 2004, on June 29 2006 Indianamarker received $3.8 billion from a consortium made up of the Spanishmarker construction firm Cintra and the Macquarie Infrastructure Group (MIG) 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.

Indiana Toll Road, East Chicago, IN at Kennedy Avenue


Exit points are based on the mile-post 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 Michiganmarker state line or Lake Michiganmarker is about 10 miles (15 km). Although it never enters Michigan, the toll road lies within ten miles (16.1 km) of the Michigan state line between La Porte, Indianamarker and the Ohio state line. Looking north at exit 121, the State Road 9-Howemarker/LaGrangemarker, the "Welcome to Michigan" sign is visible in the distance. At one point in northern Indiana, in Greenfield Township in LaGrange Countymarker at approximately Mile 129.4, the Toll Road comes within about 200 yards (182.9 m), or 1/10 mile, of the Michigan border.

Control cities on guide signs are Chicagomarker and Ohiomarker. Originally they were "Chicago and West" and "Ohio and East".

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.

History

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 Interstate 65, but the plan was dropped after the Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1956 was passed.

Originally the Interstate 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, 90, and 294. The current arrangement was applied around 1965, to avoid confusion, resulting in a stretch of I-94 actually being farther south than I-90, and I-90 running the entire length of the Indiana Toll Road. I-294 was cut back to the Tri-State Tollway at that time.

Several interchanges on the Toll Road were constructed between 1980 and 1985 as part of a bond sale in October, 1980.

Service Areas

Like all other toll highways built in the 1950s, the Indiana Toll Road has had service areas (called travel plazas[71368]) since its opening. Originally, there were eight pairs of travel plazas located approximately every . Of these, five featured sit-down restaurants operated by the Host Restaurant chain 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 Amoco, assumed operations at all travel plazas. Currently BP Amoco 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[71369] 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 serves as a state police station and has no public facilities. The restaurant interiors were remodeled into short-order cafeterias in the late 70s when the Gladieux chain took over operations and have since been remodeled once again for fast food service. However, the original buildings remain relatively unchanged from the outside.

Ownership

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.

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 already operates and maintains the adjoining Chicago Skywaymarker in Illinois.

Future Activities

New 3 Lane section of Indiana Toll Road at US 12-20 in Gary, IN


Part of the agreement to privatize operations of the Indiana E-W Toll Road is to implement over $770 million in planned upgrades on the Indiana Toll Road. Included in the plans include adding a lane in each direction from the Illinois State Line to the I-80/I-94 interchange (MP 21), the reconstruction of existing pavement and bridge structures, and implementation of electronic toll collection system at all mainline and interchange toll plazas. The lease agreement also requires the ITRCC to maintain and/or improve the condition of the Toll Road to standards set forth by state and federal law.

Exit list

County Location Mile

# Destinations Notes
Lakemarker Hammondmarker 0.0 0 Westbound exit and eastbound entrance
Westpoint Toll Barrier
2.6 3 Eastbound exit and westbound entrance
4.7 5 Old exit 1
Garymarker 9.8 10
13.5 14A Grant Street Old exit 2 (1A pre-1964)
14.0 14B
16.7 17 Old exit 3 (2 pre-1964)
Lake Stationmarker 20.8 21  – Detroitmarker, Des Moinesmarker West end of I-80 overlap; old exit 4; was originally called Burns Harbor when it opened in 1964
Portermarker Portagemarker 23.7 23 Portagemarker
Portage Toll Barrier
Chestertonmarker 31.1 31 Old exit 5 (3 pre-1964); serves Indiana Dunes National Lakeshoremarker and Indiana Dunes State Park
LaPorte 39.0 39 Old exit 6 (4 pre-1964)
49.0 49 Old exit 7 (5 pre-1964)
St. Josephmarker South Bendmarker 72.1 72 , Nilesmarker
76.6 77 Old exit 8 (6 pre-1964); serves University of Notre Damemarker
82.7 83
Elkhartmarker Elkhartmarker 91.7 92 Old exit 9 (7 pre-1964)
96.1 96 County Road 17 - Elkhart East
Bristolmarker 101.2 101
107.1 107 , Constantinemarker Old exit 10 (8 pre-1964)
LaGrangemarker Howemarker 120.5 121 , Sturgismarker Old exit 11 (9 pre-1964)
Steubenmarker Fremontmarker 143.9 144 , Lansingmarker Old exit 12 (10 pre-1964); serves Pokagon State Parkmarker
153.0 Eastpoint Toll Barrier


References

  1. Microsoft TerraServer Imagery
  2. http://indianatollroad.org/media_service/ITR%20Logo%20Final1215.html
  3. Indiana Toll Road: A Brief History (brochure). Indiana Department of Transportation, 1991. (Scan at http://home.comcast.net/~bmgorte/freeway/tollrd.html)
  4. Indiana Code Title 8, Article 9.5, Chapter 8


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