Saturday, February 17, 2007

Shortfall threatens highway projects

Strickland says deficit will limit construction

February 16, 2007
Plain Dealer

Columbus - Could major road projects across Ohio face a stop sign because a state transportation fund is running out of money?

That question hangs in the air following remarks from Gov. Ted Strickland on Thursday revealing a $1.2 billion deficit in a road project fund overseen by the Transportation Review Advisory Council, or TRAC.

By 2014, Strickland said, that gap would loom between the estimated costs of the new projects and the Ohio Department of Transportation's estimated funds.

The list assembled by TRAC includes 142 projects across the state, including a handful from Northeast Ohio. The main factors driving the predicted shortfall are flat gasoline tax revenues and rising construction costs, Strickland said. Nearly all of ODOT's budget comes from federal and state gasoline taxes.

"It's difficult to say exactly what decisions will have to be made in the near future," he said. "But local communities can know that a Strickland administration will move forward with a more dependable and responsible approach." More....


Yeah it looks like the more dependable and responsible approach will be to tell the cities - Pay for it yourself!

Or maybe Reverend Strickland is setting us up for a new or increased gasoline tax. The projects from the N/E Ohio area are:

  • $455 million in work on Cleveland's Inner Belt.

  • $131.1 million for adding lanes and upgrading interchanges on Ohio 2 in Lake County.

  • $114 million for improvements in the area of Interstate 77 and Interstate 490 near downtown Cleveland.

  • $48.2 million for reconstruction of Cleveland's West Shoreway.

  • $43.7 million to add a lane to I-77 from Ohio 82 to Rockside Road.

  • $18.1 million for Cleveland's Euclid Corridor.

  • $12.2 million to upgrade the Interstate 271 interchange at Mayfield Road.

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Don't be scared!