By David Tanner
The company that operates the Indiana Toll Road has embarked on a 10-year rehabilitation project to repair bridges.
ITR Concession Co., a partnership of Macquarie Infrastructure Group of Australia and Spanish toll operator Cintra, began work in early September on a 10-year rehabilitation project starting with the Calumet Bridge at Milepost 4.18 in Lake County.
In 2009, work on 17 bridges will total about $12 million, toll road Spokesman Matt Pierce said.
In 2010, the company is eyeing 26 projects with a similar price tag. A total for the remaining years has not been determined.
“It is likely that those years will carry similar price tags for the remainder of the 10 years, (but) it is impossible at this time to speculate on the improvement costs,” Pierce told Land Line.
“Also, it is important to note that these bridges are in addition to those structures included in our $250 million Mandatory Expansion Works project between MP 10.6 and 15.5.”
ITR Concession Co. paid the state of Indiana $3.85 billion in 2006 for the right to operate and collect tolls on the Indiana Toll Road for 75 years. The controversial lease was, and still is, the largest public-private transaction for an existing roadway in the U.S.
The state is using the cash and interest to pay for transportation projects apart from the toll road, which include Gov. Mitch Daniels’ “Major Moves” program.
ITR Concession Co. is obligated to keep the Indiana Toll Road and its 330 bridges in good shape, Pierce said.
Types of improvements on the ITR include, but aren’t limited to, bearing replacements, substructure repairs, joint replacements and improvements to decks, approach slabs and guardrails.
Work has begun on the underside of the structures through the fall and winter, followed by deck work in the spring, Pierce said. LL