ROADS/BRIDGES: Indiana toll road to get a big-time facelift

Feb. 3, 2016

$200 million in improvements are scheduled through the end of the 2017

A section of the 157-mile Indiana Toll Road, which stretches across the northern portion of the state between Ohio and Illinois, will undergo $200 million in improvements including new asphalt and bridge work.

Work is slated to begin in March on a 70-mile stretch describing a path from mile marker 20 in Lake Station to mile marker 93 in Elkhart, according to a statement made by Ken Daley, chief executive of the Indiana Toll Road Concession Co., who characterized the large-scale project as “a critical investment in safety and service on the Indiana Toll Road.”

The project will consist of removal of the existing asphalt down to the concrete base, followed by a 5-in. layer of new asphalt. Moreover, improvements to interchanges, road shoulder replacements, work on 53 bridges and the installation of fiber-optic cable aimed at improving information available to drivers are all on the schedule.

Gov. Mike Pence said the work is the largest project on the road since it was completed in 1956. “The fact that we're able to do it without burdening taxpayers in Indiana, without burdening motorists on the Toll Road, I think is a real testament to this project,” Pence said. The project is anticipated to create more than 300 jobs throughout the state.

Rieth-Riley Construction Co. will be the primary on the project, which will be accomplished in 3- to 6-mile sections, while maintaining at least one open lane of traffic in each direction.

Australian investment consortium IFM Investors owns the lease on the Toll Road for another 65 years, following this past May’s $5.72 billion purchase of the lease; at that time, the consortium announced that it planned to make $260 million in capital improvements on the highway over the next five years.

The work is scheduled to be completed by December 2017.

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