Ohio Gov. John Kasich plans to propose raising $1.5 billion for highway projects with Ohio Turnpike bonds while preserving the toll way as a public entity, state lawmakers briefed on the plan said. The proposal means the Ohio Turnpike won't be sold or leased to a private operator.
For a couple years, the governor entertained the idea of selling or leasing the turnpike to a private investment company for an upfront amount of cash. The plan drew significant criticism for many reasons but among them the long-term lease would have given control of toll rates to a for-profit company instead of elected officials. The governor's new plan would generate transportation dollars by borrowing against future tolls on the 241-mile highway that runs across northern Ohio. Kasich said the bulk of the money — about 90 percent — would be spent on projects north of U.S. 30.
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