The road ahead is rough for the Ohio Department of Transportation, according to the agency’s director. He spoke before a panel that will recommend to Gov. Mike DeWine how to fund major new road construction, telling them that money is also running out for maintenance of existing infrastructure.
ODOT Director Jack Marchbanks said 15 years of flat revenues from the gas tax, inflation in highway construction costs and huge debt payments have driven the agency into jeopardy.
“It is a grim financial situation. It is also a dangerous one,” Marchbanks said.
Marchbanks says revenue for new projects from turnpike bonds has run out. He says $150 million in maintenance on existing roads has already been delayed, and the state needs to catch up.
“If we do not have the funding to fix Ohio roads, more crashes will happen, and I’m sad to say more people will get hurt and even sadder to say that some people will die.”
Marchbanks said he’s not recommending anything, but said a 1 cent increase in the gas tax would bring in $67 million dollars, split 60/40 with local governments.