ODOT Out Of Money

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Despite being one of the major dangerous interchanges in the state, ODOT administrators say a statewide funding shortfall will delay a planned overhaul of the I-70/I-71 interchange in downtown Columbus.(Photo: Flickr)
Despite being one of the major dangerous interchanges in the state, ODOT administrators say a statewide funding shortfall will delay a planned overhaul of the I-70/I-71 interchange in downtown Columbus.(Photo: Flickr)

The agency responsible for constructing and maintaining Ohio’s highways and state routes says it’s out of money.

The Ohio Department of Transportation is funded by federal and state gas taxes. And ODOT Director Jerry Wray said in August that there was trouble ahead.

“We are facing a crisis and mostly the crisis relates to federal funding. Most people don’t understand that we are a state administered but federally driven program. We depend upon federal money.”

Wray now says the state received 72 new construction applications totaling $10 billion last year, and there are already $2 billion in projects underway. But ODOT only has about $100 million a year for new construction. Wray says some projects will be rejected, and others pushed back for decades, while the state looks for ways to cut costs and generate funds – which could include leasing the Ohio Turnpike.

Comments
  • Williams

    We appreciate your thoughful reporting. This story begs the question, though: Which particular projects are being put on hold? Is there a common denominator (e.g., urban vs rural, northern vs central vs southern, growing areas vs stagnant areas or even Republican regions vs Democratic regions).