Archived Story

Governor’s decision on Ohio Turnpike may come soon

Published 9:25am Monday, October 8, 2012

COLUMBUS (AP) — A proposal on whether to lease the Ohio Turnpike or get more money out of the toll road some other way is coming soon, Gov. John Kasich said.

The governor said last week that he’s looking at options that could bring the state more than $1 billion, and a formal proposal could be announced within the next month. The Columbus Dispatch reported that it’s believed that the governor’s administration is studying whether to lease the turnpike over a period of years or issuing bonds against it.

“The bottom line is there may be some real money lying out there if we do this thing the right way,” Kasich said on Friday.

He’s been pushing the idea of using the turnpike that crosses northern Ohio to bring several billion dollars to the state for new road and bridge projects.

Critics, including many elected officials in northern Ohio, say leasing the road could bring higher tolls for drivers and less maintenance on the road.

Kasich tried to ease some of those worries although he said putting a limit on future toll increases would reduce how much money the state could get from allowing a private company to operate the toll road.

He said the state could get enough money to take care of a lot of infrastructure needs for about a decade.

“We’re going to treat northeastern and northern Ohio and northwestern Ohio, we’re going to treat everybody fairly, and they’ll get a big chunk of the money,” he said Friday.

The state has hired consultants to study the turnpike’s future. Options include leasing the turnpike to a private operator, maintaining public ownership and operation, or using a mix of public ownership with part private operation.

The turnpike now operates entirely on its own revenue and is funded through tolls and the sale of gas and food at rest stops. It had $11 million in profits last year.


The Tribune believes it is possible for people with a variety of points of view to discuss issues in a civil manner and will remove comments that, in our opinion, foster incivility. We want to encourage an open exchange of information and ideas. Responsibility for what is posted or contributed to this site is the sole responsibility of each user. By contributing to this website, you agree not to post any defamatory, abusive, harassing, obscene, sexual, threatening or illegal material, or any other material that infringes on the ability of others to enjoy this site, or that infringes on the rights of others. Any user who feels that a contribution to this website is a violation of these terms of use is encouraged to email, or click the "report comment" link that is on all comments. We reserve the right to remove messages that violate these terms of use and we will make every effort to do so — within a reasonable time frame — if we determine that removal is necessary.

Editor's Picks

Apple butter on sale to benefit Shop With a Cop

SOUTH POINT — Law enforcement agencies in Lawrence County have kicked off the annual apple butter fundraiser for the Shop With a Cop program. Every year, ... Read more