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New ODOT Chief Says Money For Infrastructure Maintenance Running Out

Feb 6, 2019

Credit Ohio Public Radio

The new director of the Ohio Department of Transportation spoke Tuesday before a panel that will recommend to Governor Mike DeWine how to fund major new road construction projects. 

He said money is also running out for maintenance of existing infrastructure. Ohio Public Radio's Karen Kasler reports.

Jack Marchbanks says 15 years of flat revenues from the gas tax, inflation in highway construction costs and huge debt payments have driven the agency into jeopardy.

“It is a grim financial situation. It is also a dangerous one.”

Marchbanks says revenue for new projects from turnpike bonds has run out. He says 150 million dollars in maintenance on existing roads has already been delayed, and the state needs to catch up.

“If we do not have the funding to fix Ohio roads, more crashes will happen, and I’m sad to say more people will get hurt and even sadder to say that some people will die.”

Marchbanks says he’s not recommending anything, but says a 1 cent increase in the gas tax would bring in 67 million dollars, split 60/40 with local governments.