Tom Warne Report, 25 September 2013
The Ohio Turnpike and Infrastructure Commission (OTIC) has signed off on 10 projects worth $930 million in northern Ohio, around its corridor. The projects will be funded with the first round of funding using bond proceeds that were the result of Governor Kasich’s Ohio Jobs and Transportation Plan. The legislation allows the turnpike to take $1 billion out of what will ultimately be $1.5 billion in debt backed by toll revenue. This marks the first time the turnpike will finance projects outside of its 241-mile, east-west corridor.
Turnpike toll increases over the next decade will be used to pay off the bonds issued by the commission to help with projects outside of the toll road’s route across northern Ohio. Approved projects include $340 million for a new eastbound bridge on I-90 in Cleveland.
Other projects approved include a link between I-490 in Cleveland and the University Circle neighborhood, I-80 near Youngstown, I-271 near Akron, I-75 and I-475 and U.S. 20 near Toledo, and others. Tolls will rise 2.7 percent a year over the next decade starting Jan. 1, for turnpike users except those who use E-ZPass, or those who are traveling less than 30 miles between exits.