Friday, October 24, 2014

Toll road plaza won’t work as Elkhart Greyhound bus stop
Posted on March 15, 2012 at 1:00 a.m.

GRANGER — The Indiana Toll Road plaza near Elkhart won’t work as a Greyhound bus stop, according to an official from the company that manages the roadway.

Meanwhile, it’s now quicker traveling on the toll road through the Gary area heading to and from Chicago.

The Indiana Toll Road Oversight Board, formed with representation from the Indiana Department of Transportation after the privatization of toll road management in 2006, held its quarterly meeting here Wednesday, covering a range of topics.

Bus service:

Ryan Olsen, infrastructure program director for the Indiana Toll Road Concession Co., or ITRCC, which manages the roadway, said Greyhound officials have dismissed the plaza as a possible bus stop.

Greyhound suspended Elkhart bus service in January after the lease on its former station in the city ran out. Officials said at the time they were searching for a replacement location.

The south entry to the Elkhart plaza on the eastbound side of the toll road won’t work, though, because there isn’t enough space for a bus to maneuver, Olsen said. Bus officials had considered using the plaza parking lot on the non-toll road side of the facility.

Speed limit:

The speed limit in the Gary area while the toll road section there was widened from two to three lanes in each direction had been 45 mph. With the end of the work and completion of a study looking into the appropriate speed limit, signs were put up about a month ago raising that to 70 mph for automobiles, said Clark Snyder, toll road oversight director for INDOT.

That means the speed limit on the bulk of the roadway in Indiana is 70 mph for autos and 65 mph for trucks, boding for increased volume.

Complaints:

Snyder reported that toll road complaints “seem to be in a dimished mode.”

Similarly, Olsen said calls to the ITRCC, including complaints, fell in the fourth quarter of 2011 to 37,418, down from 49,000 in the third quarter. Complaints accounted for 3 percent of the total calls in the fourth quarter, he said.

Upgrades:

Around 80 lane miles on the toll road are to be targeted for routine pavement repairs this spring and summer, with the work to be done by July 4, according to Olsen. The bulk of the roadway and toll road plazas are to be re-striped, with work to begin in late spring.

Accidents, traffic:

The number of “incidents” on the toll road — reports of accidents involving personal or property damage and fatalities — reached 988 for 2011, up from 773 in 2010, Snyder said. He’ll be investigating to see how that rate compares to other toll roads.

The long-term, 10-year traffic forecast, meanwhile, calls for “modest growth” in traffic along the toll road, he said.