The Ohio jobs and transportation plan would generate US$1.5bn in new funds for Ohio highways from bonds issued by the Ohio Turnpike Commission and backed by future toll revenues. Up to an additional US$1.5bn could be generated from matching local and federal funds coming to a combined total of approximately US$3bn for Ohio’s major highway construction projects.
“This plan just makes sense as we continue Ohio’s economic resurgence, grow jobs and make our state prosperous once again,” said governor John Kasich said. “Billions of dollars in new highway funds further strengthens Ohio’s jobs-friendly climate and keeps our state moving by delivering more projects faster.”
The plan allows the Turnpike to remain public and independent. It will have expanded authority and be renamed the Ohio Turnpike & Infrastructure Commission. More than 90% of new bond money will go directly to northern Ohio highway projects, including the Turnpike itself.
“Maintaining public control and an independent Turnpike Commission helps keep tolls low and workers on the job,” said Ohio turnpike director Rick Hodges. “Plus, with this new plan we can get to work rebuilding the entire Turnpike decades sooner than we once had planned.”
Ohio Department of Transportation has cut the agency’s US$1.6bn highway budget deficit by US$400m thanks to new savings and operational efficiencies. Money generated from the Ohio jobs and transportation plan will help fill budget deficit without raising taxes. The launch of the new plan concludes a year-long study of options for better using the revenue generated by the Ohio Turnpike.