The operator of the Indiana Toll Road have announced the removal of all mainline pavement work in advance of the Labor Day holiday weekend, with the exception of the Lake Station interchange which will remain closed for structure repairs until mid-November. ITR Concession Company (ITRCC) reports that to date, the two-year, $200-million 80/90 PUSH project has completed 200 lane miles out of 292 total, putting the project at 68-percent completion of the mainline pavement.
Officials report that while the Toll Road mainline will remain open throughout the holiday, existing projects will move into new phases in mid-September, including a two-week closure in Michigan City starting September 12th where the Toll Road connects with U.S. 421 so crews can repave the entire interchange.
During this time, all exit and entry ramps will be closed.
DETOUR for Michigan City (Exit 39):
Eastbound traffic – Exit 31, S.R. 49 N > I-94 E > 421
Westbound traffic – Exit 49, S.R. 39 N > U.S. 20 W > I-94 W > 421
Following completion there, work will begin on the Valparaiso/Chesterton interchange, which will be closed September 26th through October 10th.
TRAVEL PLAZA MASTER PLAN UPDATE – HOWE PLAZAS CLOSING
ITRCC is also entering a new phase in its Travel Plaza Master Plan. Beginning Tuesday, Sept. 13, the Howe travel plazas (Milepost 126 east- and westbound) will fully close to begin the demolition and rebuilding of those locations. The construction should take approximately nine-to-10 months, with a tentative re-opening planned for summer 2017.
ITRCC announced in May that it had entered into concession agreements with Sunoco and HMSHost to build and manage the eight travel plaza locations across the Toll Road. The $70 million project includes the Howe plazas and other pairs (eastbound and westbound locations in Portage, Rolling Prairie and Elkhart). Sunoco will be the sole operator of the Portage and Elkhart locations, which will be rebuilt into fuel and convenience stores. It will also operate the new fuel stations at the Rolling Prairie and Howe locations, which will be rebuilt into full-service plazas with HMSHost operating and managing the restaurant facilities.
While the Howe travel plazas are under construction, tractor-trailer parking WILL be allowed in designated areas at those locations tentatively beginning the week of Sept. 19, once the area is secured. Outside of truck parking, there will be no facilities available at the Howe travel plazas – no restrooms, no fuel, no food – and access will be prohibited to the general public as a matter of public safety.
Following is the most current travel plaza construction schedule, which is subject to change:
* Phase 1: Oct. 1, 2015; Fremont travel plaza buildings and fuel stations (MP 146) permanently closed. Demolition complete.
* Phase 2: July 2016 – early 2017; Portage (MP 22) travel plazas demolished and rebuilt into fuel/convenience stores.
* Phase 2a: September 2016 – summer 2017; Howe (MP 126) plazas demolished and rebuilt into full-service plazas.
* Phase 3: Spring 2017 – fall 2017; Rolling Prairie (MP 56) travel plazas demolished and rebuilt into full-service plazas.
* Phase 4: Fall 2017 – spring 2018; Elkhart (MP 90) travel plazas demolished and rebuilt into fuel/convenience stores.