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Northeast Ohio transportation board opposes turnpike lease
The Northeast Ohio Areawide Coordinating Agency has concerns about Gov. Kasich's proposal to privatize the state's toll road


The board that plans transportation throughout Northeast Ohio is opposing Governor John Kasich’s proposal to lease the Ohio turnpike. The Northeast Ohio Areawide Coordinating Agency fears turning the turnpike over to a private operator would not include enough oversight. Kasich has said that he’d only consider the lease if the deal yields at least $2.5 billion to Ohio, which he saidthe state needs for other road, bridge and harbor projects.

But board chairman Stephen Hambley said he’s concerned that a lease could lead to poor road maintenance, higher tolls and could hurt local communities.

NOACA Board Chairman Stephen Hambley

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If the turnpike is leased, Hambley says Northern Ohio should receive a portion of the money to help repair roads damaged from the increased traffic flow on alternative routes. 

In 2006, Indiana signed a 75-year lease for its toll road with a Spanish-Australian company, which paid $3.85 billion. Indiana Department of Transportation spokesman Will Wingfield said the lease has been extremely beneficial to the state’s economy.

Related WKSU Stories

Kasich may lease Ohio turnpike
Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Leasing The Ohio Turnpike
Monday, July 17, 2006

Listener Comments:

I'd like people to know the truth about the Ohio Turnpike. It is not owned, maintained by the state. It is an agency of the state. YOUR TAX DOLLARS are Not spent on salaries of toll collectors, maintenane personnel, NOR get this -- not even for the State Highway Patrol personnel out there! Do you drive the pike? How often? Are you an occasional driver from here to there you use the pike for quick time, safety during winter xinditions, etc? The toll you have paid - yes, that $1.30 you paid last month to visit Mom back home, is what pays the salaries, benefits, maintenance, salt, snow plows, mowers, asphalt, alll the machines, gas, and people, even the patrolman's cruisers are not from "ypur taxes". If you do not drive the turnpike, you do not pay for it. Yes, state money was initially borrowed to create the road, paid off, and more money borrowed to put in new exits that brought in new businesses to towns, expanding additional lanes, new service plazas, etc. And all this is to make it so Ohio's areas off the road are better suited to serve the public, create jobs in Ohio, and maintain jobs and living conditions in our areas. WHY oh WHY would we EVER even consider giving all of this away for decades? See this older article Cleveland State University 2006 concluded it then .... "...leasing of the Turnpike... will be as effective as the Ohio Lottery is in funding public education".... "CONCLUSION: Leasing the Ohio Turnpike is A BAD IDEA period!

Posted by: Al (Wood county, ohio) on May 21, 2011 12:05PM
I just spoke with someone who used the Indiana turnpike last week. He commented that the rest areas were filthy and the roads in comparitively poor condition. He also stated that in order to pass through the toll gates, you must have good paper money without any wrinkles or creases, as the automatic reader cannot scan it and will otherwise keep spitting it out. He described to me that ONE young lady was working all of the booths had to run back and forth in the pouring rain and high winds to help travelers who could not get the automatic scanner to work or did not have appropriate paper money to put through the reader. Is this what we want in Ohio? Our turnpikes are some of the truly best in the country. AND our rates have gone down do to effective leadership. Why would the governor want to ruin what works?

Posted by: Debbie (Ashtabula) on May 17, 2011 8:05AM
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