Study: Road tolls could generate billions for Indiana
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Indiana could see between $39 billion and $53 billion in toll revenue from 2021 to 2050, according to study of a proposed statewide tolling program.
The feasibility study conducted by the state Department of Transportation estimated how much money would be generated from tolls on six interstates: 64, 65, 69, 70, 74 and 94, The Journal Gazette reported . Potential toll rates ranged from 4 cents per mile for automobiles to 19 cents per mile for heavy trucks.
“Actual toll revenues, if such a program is pursued, will depend on future traffic volumes and on the details of how Indiana implements the program,” the report said.
The report is based on electronic tolling that wouldn’t require gates or booths. Instead, the transportation department would construct tolling gantries, which are equipped with cameras and other equipment to capture transponder and license plate information.
The revenue estimates don’t take into account the cost of installing and maintaining equipment. The department estimates that nearly 370 gantries would be required for the tolling program. Each gantry would cost about $1 million.
An estimated 9 percent to 22 percent of drivers would choose to travel on local roads instead of paying the tolls, the report said.
A law approved this year requires the Department of Transportation to perform feasibility studies and seek approval from the Federal Highway Administration for charging tolls on the interstate routes. Lawmakers also raised the state gas tax by 10 cents to raise funds for road maintenance.
The state transportation department has requested proposals from firms on how to plan for toll systems.
A tolling program would have to be approved by the governor and the federal government.
Information from: The Journal Gazette, http://www.journalgazette.net