Governor Confident Toll Road Lease Will Survive Bankruptcy
October 21, 2014 — Eric Berman, Network Indiana — Governor Pence says he expects the lease of the Indiana Toll Road to a private operator to continue, even if the identity of that operator changes.
The 75-year lease of the Toll Road to a Spanish-Australian consortium allows the state to reclaim control of the road if the company doesn‘t keep the road up to standard. I-T-R Concession Company has filed for bankruptcy and is looking for a buyer. Pence says he‘s confident the financial reorganization will allow I-T-R or another operator to meet the contractual obligations.
Indiana Senator Joe Donnelly (D) wrote the Indiana Finance Authority earlier this month charging the road and service plazas have “deteriorated significantly,” falling short of “the most basic standards of service and cleanliness.” He urged the state to set specific performance standards, and consider taking back operation of the road if they aren‘t met.
Pence isn‘t saying what circumstances might warrant resuming operation of the road, but he describes the current contract as “ironclad,” and says the state‘s legal team will be monitoring both the operation of the road and what happens in bankruptcy court. The Republican governor calls the four-billion-dollar lease a clear win for the state.