Here’s more evidence of change at ODOT and the dire need to find new sources of funding for infrastructure. This proposal sounds like it’s tailor-made for I-70 truck lanes. Personally, I think toll roads are a great idea.
Ohio Turnpike toll plan takes page from other states
Strickland seeks latitude to levy fees on new highways, roads built in Ohio
By JIM PROVANCE
BLADE COLUMBUS BUREAU CHIEF
COLUMBUS – Since the first car rolled through the gate 54 years ago, the Ohio Turnpike has had a monopoly on toll roads in this state.
That may be about to change.
Gov. Ted Strickland has asked lawmakers to give the Ohio Department of Transportation authority to impose tolls on roads under its authority.
And new regional authorities created around the goal of getting single projects built may be allowed to do the same.
The efforts are a continuation of a trend in states including Florida, Texas, and Virginia as well as in a number of European countries to move away from traditional turnpikes toward stand-alone toll roads and bridges.
“I don’t believe that existing roads should become toll roads, but I do think we should at least consider, when additional infrastructure is built, whether or not there is a place for tolls,” Mr. Strickland said.
The governor included the toll proposals in his $54.7 billion, two-year budget now under consideration in the Ohio House.
“For instance, an interstate where there is heavy truck traffic,” he said.
“Were we to be build lanes that would be for truck driving only so that trucks could move more safely, more expeditiously, and perhaps at an even higher speed than is now possible on the regular interstate, it seems to me we could look at whether or not that new building could be supported through a tolling mechanism.”
But he insisted he has no specific project in mind.