LAPORTE — Law enforcement in LaPorte County is preparing for the possibility of an already-congested and dangerous U.S. 20 being overrun with more semi-trucks as drivers avoid the 35 percent cost increase of traveling the Indiana Toll Road.
Much of that stretch of highway being down to one lane in each direction for resurfacing adds to the concerns.
LaPorte County Sheriff John Boyd said he’s reached out to Indiana State Police to help patrol U.S. 20 if an increase in truck traffic becomes too much for his staff to handle alone.
“We’re going to prepare for it,” Boyd said. “We’re going to closely monitor it and we’ll adjust and reach out if we have to.”
Gary Langston, president of the Indiana Motor Truck Association, predicted in an earlier Tribune article that there will be a much greater diversion of trucks off the Toll Road “than anyone imagines,” resulting in more congestion on toll-free highways and the possibility of more accidents.
The toll increase is strictly on trucks weighing more than 10,000 pounds and went into effect Friday.
Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb worked with ITR Concession Co., the private operators of the Toll Road, on the rate increase, which is projected to generate $1 billion for the state infrastructure upgrades.