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Economy and Business

Ohio considers selling road-bridge naming rights
ODOT says commercialization may be the only way to close a shortfall

Maranda Shrewsberry
ODOT says selling naming rights to roads and bridges help close the budget gap.
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Ohio may become the first state in the country to sell naming rights to its bridges and roads.

The Ohio Department of Transportation says the sales could help but a $1.6 billion shortfall, and companies will  maintain their namesakes.

Republican Tom Patton of Strongsville is chairman of the Senate’s Highway and Transportation Committee. He says he needs to hear more about ODOT’s plan before he backs it.

Patton's reservations Windows Media (0:26)

“I’m just not sure how it will affect the visual portion of the roads and things like that. There’s already enough signs along the road, ... like the blue sign program, which is the sign that companies pay to let you know that there’s certain gas stops ahead, certain hotels ahead, certain restaurants ahead. There’s clearly the road signs that tell you how far away you are from different things. I just don’t like the idea of cluttering up our highways with this type of advertising signs.”

But Patton gives ODOT credit for creativity.

ODOT is moving ahead with public hearings on another part of its plan, selling naming rights at the nearly 60 rest stops is has on non-interstate highways.

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