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Government & Politics

ODOT Director Takes Funding Troubles to Ohio House

photo of Jack Marchbanks
ODOT Director Jack Marchbanks tells the Ohio House Finance Committee about its lack of funding and impending dangers he sees because of it.

Ohio’s top transportation official told state lawmakers that his agency is facing a billion-dollar shortfall, and that drivers could face serious dangers on roads and bridges. His testimony comes in advance of a report expected Friday that’s likely to recommend a gas tax increase.

Ohio Department of Transportation director Jack Marchbanks told the House Finance Committee that finding funding for new infrastructure projects and for existing maintenance isn’t a quick fix.

“We’re talking about bringing the system to a good condition for the next decade. We’re not talking about a couple of years. We’re talking about numbers based on now to 2030, 11 years," he said.

Marchbanks said ODOT hopes to spend an average of a billion dollars a year to keep up with projects. And he said if there’s more state revenue found for them, some federal funds could be flexed toward public transit. And Marchbanks also warned that for future smart mobility and autonomous vehicles to work, roads have to be in good repair.