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ODOT gets green light to conduct Ohio Turnpike study

Published: Mon, February 13, 2012 @ 4:30 p.m.

COLUMBUS — The Ohio Department of Transportation has been given the green light to proceed with a $2.8 million study of the privatization of the Ohio Turnpike.

The Controlling Board, the lawmaker panel that signs off on such outlays, gave its OK today for the funding, to be used by Texas-based KPMG Corporate Finance to determine whether the state should proceed with the lease of the northern Ohio toll road, allow the turnpike to continue operations as-is, bond against the value of the highway or some other option.

KPMG also will review the lease of the state's Interstate rest areas — a provision added to the contract to ensure federal funding of the study.

ODOT officials are remaining mum on the potential windfall from the transactions.

“I have no idea,” Greg Murphy, ODOT chief of staff, said in response to reporters’ questions following Monday’s Controlling Board meeting concerning the value of the turnpike. “We really don’t want to talk about a number. We want to see what the analysis comes back with.”

State officials have talked for months about the possibility of leasing the Ohio Turnpike as a means for providing an infusion of funding for repair, maintenance and new road construction.

The first phase of the study will be completed by the end of the year. The second and third phases would be needed only if the state decides to move forward with the lease.

But opponents question the wisdom of selling a state asset and voiced concern that the outcome of the study was predetermined in favor of privatization.

“I think it’s a waste of money,” said Rep. Ronald Gerberry of Austintown, D-59th, who has introduced legislation barring any move to privatize the toll road.


1paulydel(1607 comments)posted 4 years, 5 months ago

If the turnpike is solvent why mess with it? It would be to the states advantage to keep it and not lease it out privately.

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2NoBS(2824 comments)posted 4 years, 5 months ago

Last year we were told the Kasich administration had budgeted $1.5 million for the study of the Turnpike. Now it's up to $2.8 million. Guess Kasich's Kronies needed more money.

We would be absolutely foolish to sell, lease, or in any other way give up the revenue of the Turnpike. This current administration wants nothing more than a get-rich-quick scheme that will leave the state in worse shape than it is now.

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3khuz(7 comments)posted 4 years, 5 months ago

That's $ 2.85 million for phase one. There are two more phases which will require more funding. Unless of course KPMG decides it to be in Ohio's best interest not to sell the Turnpike and leave it like it is. How ridiculous is that! Kasich has to be laughing at the dumb public for which he leads.

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