INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Gov. Eric Holcomb will not move forward with a plan to toll Indiana’s interstates, but he’s still leaving the door open for tolling in the future.
The governor sent a letter to members of the Budget Committee Thursday with a strategic tolling plan developed by the Indiana Department of Transportation. The study was done in accordance with House Enrolled Act 1002.
The state was considering five corridors for tolling: I-94 from Illinois to Michigan; I-65 in the northern part of the state from I-90 south to I-465 and then south from I-465 to the Ohio River; I-70 from the Illinois state line to I-465, then from I-465 on the east side to the Ohio state line. It also considered tolling in the Indianapolis metro area. Gov. Holcomb later said the I-465 loops, for him, were never a consideration.
In his letter, Holcomb said for now, the state appears to be in good shape regarding infrastructure spending resources. He pointed to the almost $800 million approved in October to be spent on new road construction and maintenance in the coming years.
As a result, he said he won’t go ahead with a tolling plan.
His letter regarding the recommendation accompanied INDOT’s strategic tolling plan, which he referred to as a “how-to manual” for tolling. He said it’s possible the state may want to revisit INDOT’s report in the future because revenue projections could always fluctuate and the state “must continue to analyze innovative funding methods” down the road.
“I have directed INDOT to continue to assess all funding option and other mobility improvements that would modernize our interstate highways, including participation in federal programs that enable us to preserve the option for interstate tolling capability in the future,” Holcomb wrote.
The Alliance for Toll-Free Interstates issued this statement:
“We applaud Gov. Holcomb deciding against tolling Indiana’s existing interstates to fund roads and other transportation projects. The evidence is clear: tolls are a bad deal for business owners, consumers and motorists throughout Indiana’s economy.”