AASHTO Journal, 26 September 2014
Image courtesy Wikipedia.org
According to several news outlets, the company that operates the Indiana Toll Road this week filed for bankruptcy protection.
The Indiana Finance Authority said that the bankruptcy filing by the ITR Concession Company LLC to restructure its debt obligations to a lender group associated with the 2006 Indiana Toll Road concession and lease agreement would not change things for motorists.
“The IFA has been aware of negotiations between the operator and its lenders, so we anticipated this could be a possibility,” said Gov. Mike Pence in the IFA statement. “But Hoosiers can expect business as usual on the Indiana Toll Road.”
IFA Director Kendra York said ITRCC, the toll concessionaire, will continue to manage the toll road throughout the bankruptcy process, per the current agreement. ITRCC’s prepackaged chapter 11 plan proposes to solicit interest from potential new operators.
IFA said that any potential change in the toll road’s operation must be pre-approved by the Indiana authority and that performance standards established in the 2006 agreement remain in place and cannot “under any circumstance” increase tolls beyond what is set forth in the agreement.
“Contingencies to address situations like this were written into the 2006 agreement,” said York. “So, day-to-day operations will continue as they have been on this important Indiana roadway, and we’ll continue to monitor the bankruptcy process on behalf of Hoosier taxpayers.”
Indiana signed an agreement in 2006 with the ITRCC to operate the toll road for 75 years. The state received $3.8 billion dollars in the deal, and the operator has made a number of crucial investments in and updates to the toll road that have improved travel for passenger and commercial traffic. The state of Indiana has invested the payment in 87 Major Moves projects throughout the state.