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Proposal would pay $2.85M for Ohio Turnpike study

Published: Tue, February 7, 2012 @ 2:35 p.m.

COLUMBUS (AP) — The consultant studying whether the state should lease the Ohio Turnpike would be paid $2.85 million under a proposed contract, well above the $1.5 million the state initially estimated last year in a request to the federal government.

Austin, Texas-based consulting firm KPMG corporate finance will analyze options for the 241-mile northern Ohio toll road that helps links the Midwest with the East Coast. The state Controlling Board on Monday is slated to consider the contract, which would run through December.

The board does not often reject such requests, The Columbus Dispatch reported today.

An Ohio Department of Transportation spokesman defended the cost, telling the newspaper that more detailed work can be more expensive.

“As you define the scope and realize the amount of work and level of detail that goes into an objective third-party study like this, the cost has the potential of going up in order to get it right,” spokesman Steve Faulkner said. “We want KPMG to do as thorough and as diligent a job as possible.”

KPMG has until the end of the year to study and make recommendations on how the state can get the best financial benefit from the turnpike.

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