Turnpike Discussion at Freight Meeting
Adam Greenslade, director of governmental affairs for the Ohio Turnpike Commission, attended the TMACOG Freight Advisory Committee’s January meeting to discuss possible changes to the operation of the Ohio Turnpike, including the issuing of bonds backed by future toll revenue to pay for Ohio transportation projects. In a roundtable format, Mr. Greenslade answered questions from the committee regarding the details of the proposed plan for the turnpike. As a vital freight corridor across northern Ohio, the discussion and analysis of the turnpike bonding proposal is of particular interest to the TMACOG Freight Advisory Committee. Commercial vehicles generate a larger share of turnpike toll revenue than passenger vehicles with trucking and logistics firms ranking as the top toll revenue payers. Some key points from the discussion included:
- Revenue from bond proceeds would add to the overall revenue currently available for major new capacity projects as included in the Transportation Review Advisory Council (TRAC) program and for the turnpike facility itself. Funding for other infrastructure programs – such as county road and bridge programs – will not be impacted in any way by this proposal.
- Under the plan, northern Ohio should receive a larger portion of the available transportation revenue, but that portion or what constitutes northern Ohio has yet to be defined.
- Part of the bond proceeds would be used for turnpike base replacement, more quickly and less expensively than without the bonds.
- The turnpike commission will be renamed the Ohio Turnpike and Infrastructure Commission, and may oversee other transportation facilities or projects around the state.
To implement the Governor’s proposal, legislative action will be required by Ohio’s General Assembly. A Turnpike Bill, HB 51, has been introduced by State Representatives McGregor and Patmon and referred to the House Finance and Appropriations Committee for consideration. A TMACOG sub-committee has been formed to review and provide input on the proposed bill. For more information about TMACOG’s freight committee activities, please contact Roger Streiffert at 419.241.9155 ext. 122. All TMACOG meetings are open to the public.