EAST CHICAGO, Ind. (AP) - The Indiana Department of Transportation has
transferred the right of way from the demolished Cline Avenue Bridge in East
Chicago to a company that plans to build a private toll bridge.
INDOT and the city of East Chicago agreed last year to transfer the right of
way to a group that plans to use private funds to build a new bridge that
will use non-stop, all-electronic tolling. As part of the deal the group has
agreed to do $3 million in resurfacing work on a road leading to the bridge.
State transportation officials say once the group completes the permit
process it should take about two years to build the bridge.
The state shut down the original bridge in 2009 after inspections showed it
was dangerously weak.
The new Cline Avenue Bridge will employ non-stop, all-electronic toll
collection using the best technology available when it opens to traffic. Two
basic payment programs are planned to welcome ridership by all users, both
locals and visitors. Transponders that are already used for regional toll
systems like the Indiana Toll Road will be able to recognize the unique
frequency assigned to this crossing. For drivers without transponders, the
other option will be to “pay by plate” where the license plate is recognized
and a bill is sent in the mail.