State Panels OKs Turnpike Study

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If approved, rest areas like this one along the Ohio Turnpike could move into private operation.(Photo: Flickr)
If approved, rest areas like this one along the Ohio Turnpike could move into private operation.(Photo: Flickr)

Ohio officials want to know whether the state’s 101 rest stops could be leased to a private operator and how much a potential deal might be worth.

Click the play button above to hear Bill Cohen’s full report.

The Ohio Department of Transportation wants to use $2.85 million in federal research money the state has to pay a consultant to evaluate options for privatizing the Ohio Turnpike and interstate or non-interstate rest areas.

The department made the request to the state Controlling Board, a legislative panel that approves contracts. The panel is scheduled to consider the contract with Austin, Texas-based KPMG Corporate Finance LLC on Monday.

Gov. John Kasich has said leasing rest areas might be a way to address a gap in the transportation budget.

Ohio pays between $30 million and $50 million annually to maintain the facilities.

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