Indiana’s two major candidates for governor continued to
squabble Wednesday, Aug. 25, over the issue of tolling highways in the state.
Democratic Gov. Joe Kernan dismissed the idea of turning
U.S. Highway 31 between South Bend, IN, and Indianapolis into a toll road.
Republican Mitch Daniels has said he would consider tolls to
help pay for needed improvements on the stretch of road and to pay for the
planned Interstate 69 extension to Evansville.
During stops Wednesday along U.S. 31, Kernan said both
projects were priorities but he was not willing to impose a “new tax” on
drivers to pay for them, The Associated Press reported.
He said progress was being made on upgrading the highway
using state and federal transportation funds, and as an alternative to tolls,
Indiana should continue to seek a larger share of federal dollars. The state
now gets back about 90 cents for every dollar paid in federal fuel taxes.
Even a slight increase, he said, could generate as much as
$300 million in additional highway dollars each year.
Daniels said Wednesday that toll roads could be a potential
solution for funding some highway work, and many tolls would be paid by
it was the right solution for U.S. 31 should be left to transportation
officials, he said, but it and other ideas should at least be considered.