New legislation passing through the house and senate may pave the way to an improved Ohio Turnpike, but could raise your travel costs.
The House passed a $1.5 billion Ohio Turnpike bonding plan on Thursday with a 58-36 vote, nearly quadrupling the toll roadâ??s debt. The deal would bring in about $3 billion in revenue that will be generated through incremental toll hikes on the Ohio Turnpike over the next 30 years.
Governor John Kasich said revenue will be used for turnpike and other infrastructure improvement projects in northern Ohio. Kasich said the plan would also freeze tolls at the current rates for the next ten years for E-Z pass users who travel less than 30 miles.
Some Ohioans are concerned that the GOP did not add an amendment to the bill explicitly stating the governorâ??s intentions, leaving room for revenue from the bill to be spent outside of northern Ohio.
â??When you say things you should mean what you say and do what you say,â?? said Don Wiebold, a frequent user of the Ohio Turnpike. He added the toll hike for road improvements is a â??Cross we have to bear, it comes with the territory.â??
The $3 billion in revenue would bolster improvements to the 60-year old turnpike's base pavement and could influence construction on local projects in Lucas County such as the Mccord Road Underpass.
Legislation will now go to the Senate.