State commissions study on toll road viability

INDIANAPOLIS -- The state of Indiana has hired a company to look into the possibility of tolling on several interstate highways, including some through Indianapolis. 

The state has commissioned HNTB Indiana Inc. to conduct the $9.6 million study.

INDOT Spokesman Scott Manning called the study a "data gathering exercise” and said that they had not made any decisions yet on whether they were going to begin tolling on Indiana interstates.

"They will be looking at what type of technology will be needed to implement a statewide tolling system,” said Manning. “Looking at current assets what improvements need to be made across the entire system. What opportunities are there to modernize the system."

READ | Indiana could make billions by tolling six major interstates

Manning says the study will not include tolling information for I-465. Last year, Governor Holcomb issued a statement saying that I-465 would not be tolled, even if statewide tolling were to be implemented. 

Manning says they removed I-465 from the strategic plan work that is currently being considered. 

The HNTB study will not make recommendations on whether or not to toll or which routes should be tolled. 

The tolling plan is required under a transportation bill approved last year by the legislature and is needed for the state to seek federal approval of charging tolls on interstate routes.

The study will include most of I-65 and I-70 across much of the state and I-94 in northwestern Indiana. 

A study conducted by an outside firm last year showed that the state could see anywhere between $39 billion and $53 billion in revenue between 2021 and 2050 if tolling was to be implemented on six major interstates: I-64, I-65, I-69, I-70, I-74 and I-94. 

That study did not include the impact of tolling on I-465.

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