Legislature clears way for historic Ohio Turnpike deal to bond against future revenue

Deal will help fund second Innerbelt Bridge

COLUMBUS, Ohio - Gov. John Kasich's plan to use future Ohio Turnpike revenue to help finance current road projects will soon be on the way to his desk.

The Ohio House on Thursday followed the s=Senate's lead in approving the two-year transportation budget that includes the historic plan to bond against future turnpike revenue to raise potentially $3 billion for state transportation projects.

"I have to figure out where I'm going to sign that because it's a big landmark historic deal," Kasich told NewsChannel5 Wednesday. "It's going to be a big benefit to northern Ohio."

The governor had considered the lease or sale of the 241-mile toll road as a way to gain capital for needed projects, but opted for the bond option after a 10-month study.

ODOT currently has $1.6 billion more in highway projects than they have the money to fund them. The revenue, more than $1 billion immediately, would clear the way for many of those projects, like the second Innerbelt Bridge, to move forward.

"We're going to get it over time. It'll be about $3 billion in extra resources for our infrastructure and it will be at least 65,000 jobs that are going to be created," Kasich said.

The state estimates for every $1 billion in new road construction spending, 30,000 jobs are created.

The Ohio Jobs and Transportation Plan would generate $1.5 billion in new funds for Ohio highways from bonds issued by the Ohio Turnpike Commission and backed by future toll revenues.

Up to an additional $1.5 billion could be generated from matching local and federal funds coming to a combined total of approximately $3 billion for Ohio's major highway construction projects.

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