Cincinnati Enquirer: Tollway Bankruptcy Bad sign for Brent Spence?

The private company running a major tollway in Indiana has filed for bankruptcy – a potential blow to efforts by Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky leaders to win public support to use tolls to pay for a new Brent Spence Bridge.

Declining traffic volume contributed to Chicago-based ITR Concession Co. failing to make a $102 million interest payment this summer on the 157-mile Indiana Toll Road, according to multiple reports.

The debt stems from a 2006 deal backed by two international companies in which Indiana received $3.8 billion up front in exchange for a 75-year lease of a highway spanning the northern part of the state. Those companies – Spain's Cintra and Australia's Macquarie – also have shown interest in being part of a public-private deal to use tolls to pay off the $2.6 billion Brent Spence Bridge replacement and corridor overhaul.

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