Yesterday, the Columbus Dispatch reported Ohio Governor Kasich and his administration are looking for ways to “unlock the value” of the Ohio Turnpike. Some suggestions have included closing two maintenance facilities and raising tolls.
Jim Riley, deputy director of the Ohio Department of Transportation spoke before the Turnpike Commission.
“Riley’s presentation said the administration wants to ‘unlock the value of the turnpike to create jobs and build Ohio’s infrastructure,’ potentially producing ‘billions of dollars in revenue’ for bridge and road repairs, public transit and transportation projects,” the Columbus Dispatch reported. “Toll increases equaled or exceeded the rate of inflation from 1990 to 2008 — and could be expected to continue to rise under a private operator at the rate of inflation, or about 2.7 percent annually, Riley said.”
According to the Columbus Dispatch, Riley did not directly promote raising toll rates, however, he did note that Ohio has the lowest toll rates in the region for trucks and cars.
Riley’s presentation also presented the option of closing two of the eight turnpike maintenance compounds, saying it would save money but he did not give a dollar amount. Riley also suggested leasing the road to a private company.
According to the Columbus Dispatch, Steve Faulkner ODOT spokesman said that officials have not made any formal decisions.
“The bottom line is there may be some real money lying out there if we do this thing the right way,” Kasich said.
To read more about his, follow this link to the Columbus Dispatch.