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Many Indiana Toll Road Drivers Seeing Big Rate Increase

SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP/CBS) - Many Indiana Toll Road drivers face paying much higher rates with the expiration of a state subsidy from the state's lease of the highway more than a decade ago.

The new rates taking effect Thursday will see cars, pickup trucks and motorcycles with electronic transponders being charged more than double previous levels. Motorists with E-ZPass transponders now will pay $10.52 to travel the Toll Road's full length, up from $4.65.

A state lawmaker admitted to CBS 2's Jeremy Ross that sticker shot will not hit people until they get an email warning them their electronic funds are getting low. He said he is expecting angry phone calls throughout the month.

State officials established the discounted rate to ease toll increases for frequent Toll Road drivers after the $3.8 billion deal in 2006 leasing the northern Indiana highway to a private operator that keeps all toll revenue.

WBBM's Jim Gudas spoke to drivers in Hammond, Indiana who said with all the additional money being made, perhaps more potholes could be filled.

"You know a lot of the potholes are pretty bad," said Raymundo Hernandez from Chicago's East Side.

An annual rate increase allowed under the lease takes effect July 1, raising the Ohio-to-Illinois toll to $10.75.

(CBS Chicago and The Associated Press contributed to this report. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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