Lease critics urge Indiana to reclaim toll road

FILE - In this May 30, 2007 file photo, vehicles pay tolls as they enter the Indiana Toll Road near Angola, Ind. (AP Photo/Joe Raymond, File)

MUNSTER, Ind. (AP) — Lawmakers including Sen. Joe Donnelly are urging the state to reclaim the Indiana Toll Road amid concerns over whether its bankrupt operator can maintain the 157-mile roadway.

Chicago-based ITR Concession Co. filed for bankruptcy in Chicago last month. It wants to sell the toll road lease to a new operator.

Donnelly calls the situation “a mess of epic proportions” and says travelers have complained of long waits at toll plazas, bridges that haven’t been repaired in over a year and rest stops that reek of urine.

He has asked the Indiana Finance Authority to ensure road conditions are safe, toll booths are staffed and rest plazas and restrooms are clean.

Experts say ITR’s bankruptcy filing isn’t enough to return the road to state control under terms of the 2006 lease.

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