Indiana Toll Road to rehab bridges

| 9/10/2009

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 Tuesday, Sept. 8, 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, a spokesman 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,” spokesman Matt Pierce told Land Line via e-mail.

“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 state is using the cash and interest to pay for transportation projects apart from the toll road.

ITR Concession Co.’s capital projects are part of an obligation to keep the roadway and its 330 bridges in good shape, Pierce said.

Types of improvements include, but aren’t limited to, bearing replacements, substructure repairs, joint replacements and improvements to decks, approach slabs and guard rails.

“Now that Labor Day has past, the work is beginning on the underside of the structures through the fall and winter,” Pierce said. “In the early spring, work will continue on the decks.”

– By David Tanner, staff writer