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ODOT Bracing For Big Hit From Drop In Gas Tax Revenues

Lower traffic levels have allowed some ODOT work that would normally be shifted to night hours to continue in daylight.
Lower traffic levels have allowed some ODOT work that would normally be shifted to night hours to continue in daylight.

The slowdown of the economy because of COVID-19 has had a huge impact on traffic and transit. And even though the state’s gas tax that funds road construction went up by 10.5 cents a gallon last July, the Ohio Department of Transportation is bracing for a big hit. 

Director Jack Marchbanks said in February, ODOT started preparing for a 35% fall in gas tax revenue for the quarter ending June 30. That would be a drop of $212 million for those three months. 

Right now he said it's unclear how far behind those revenues will be from projections, becasue there's a 60-day lag between gas sales and the revenue actually coming to ODOT.

But Marchbanks said fixing the list of the state’s 150 most dangerous intersections is still a priority.

“As of today, there’s not one of those 150 projects that we wanted to do to improve the safety of the system that have been delayed or are cancelled," Marchbanks said.

Marchbanks said he’s seeing evidence traffic is starting to rebound, which will help gas tax revenues.

And he added that lower traffic levels have allowed crews that might normally work nights because it’s safer to work extended hours in daylight.

Copyright 2020 The Statehouse News Bureau. To see more, visit The Statehouse News Bureau.