Dispatch: New Plan will Leverage Ohio Turnpike to Improve Infrastructure & Create Jobs

The Dispatch has more below about Governor Kasich’s recent announcement about how Ohio will leverage the turnpike to help fund infrastructure improvement projects and create thousands of new jobs:

TOLEDO – Gov. John Kasich said his plan to leverage the Ohio Turnpike without leasing it could generate $3 billion for state road projects and create 65,000 jobs in the next six years.

As expected, Kasich announced this morning that he would seek to issue new debt against the 241-mile toll road rather than lease or sell it to a private entity. The turnpike will remain under the control of a revamped Ohio Turnpike Commission – a commission that will expand and work more closely with the state Department of Transportation.

“It’s stunning to me that this hasn’t been done in the last 20, 25, 30 years,” Kasich said at a news conference this morning at Modern Building Supply in Toledo, about 11 miles from the turnpike.

The announcement formally put to rest two years of speculation that Kasich could seek to lease the turnpike – an option that appeared to have strong opposition in northern Ohio where the road stretches from the state’s eastern to western borders.

Under Kasich’s proposal, the state would generate $1.5 billion from two new bond issuances and up to an additional $1.5 billion from matching local and federal funds for Ohio transportation projects.

The funds are expected to fill the state’s $1.6 billion shortfall for outstanding road projects. The administration estimates that for every $1 billion spent on transportation, 30,000 jobs are created. The 65,000 jobs estimate is based on revenues from new bonds and matching local and federal dollars equaling $2.5 billion – an estimate that could rise.

For more details and to read more about this announcement, you can view the entire article here.

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