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Ohio exploring idea of privatizing turnpike

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RamboLiberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-07-11 09:35 AM
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Ohio exploring idea of privatizing turnpike
Ohio may take the road not traveled by Pennsylvania and lease its turnpike to a private operator for up-front cash.

The state's governor, Republican John Kasich, wants to explore the idea, estimating that it could bring in $3.2 billion, $1 billion of which would go for highway, rail and harbor improvement projects.

Critics say such a deal could lead to higher tolls that would push trucks to secondary roads, causing congestion and safety hazards. It also would relinquish a revenue-generating asset that brought in a record $232 million last year.

"The greatest potential benefit of a turnpike lease would be an enormous up-front cash payment, allowing cost prohibitive projects a source of funding that they otherwise might never receive," said an analysis by the Akron Metropolitan Area Transportation Study, an Akron, Ohio, metropolitan planning organization. "However, once the upfront money is gone, it's gone for multiple generations."

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