The agreement allows Copeland to proceed with a transfer of the state-owned 1.25-mile span over the Indiana Harbor and Ship Canal to a development group that will build, own and operate the new road.
In return for an estimated investment of between $150 million and $250 million to rebuild the bridge, United Bridge Partners stands to gain 10 years of tax abatement and 25 years of financial leverage through creation of a tax increment financing district beneath the overpass.
Though the toll has yet to determined, the city will collect 10 cents for every vehicle crossing between Hammond and Gary.
As a state highway, Cline Avenue currently generates no property taxes, said Karl Cender of Cender and Company, the council's financial adviser.
"After a private company rebuilds it, it will be assessed — but with a tax abatement for the first 10 years," Cender said.