On The Road To Repair: Governor Kasich Signs Transportation Bill, Enacts Plan
From the Lorain Morning Journal, by Rick Payerchin
April 02, 2013
[ Gayle Manning Home | Gayle Manning Press ]

You can find the original publication of the article in the April 2, 2013 edition of the Lorain Morning Journal, or by clicking here.

Gov. John Kasich yesterday signed the transportation budget bill, enacting a plan to borrow road repair money that will be repaid with tolls from the Ohio Turnpike.

The bill appropriates $7.6 million to fund the Ohio Departments of Public Safety and Transportation for the coming two-year period. Kasich also approved a plan that will allow $1.5 billion in bonds to be issued, to be repaid with future tolls revenue from the Ohio Turnpike.

With matching grants, Ohio could leverage up to $3 billion for road repairs over the next six years, said 13th District Ohio Sen. Gayle Manning, R-North Ridgeville, who also is chairwoman of the Senate Transportation Committee.

The plan had strong bipartisan support in the Senate, said Manning, who also is a member of the Ohio Turnpike Commission.

“Through the bonding of the Ohio Turnpike, we will collect up to $3 billion for infrastructure projects, with more than 90 percent of that investment being made in Northern Ohio,” said Manning, who attended the signing ceremony with Kasich and other officials at Tendon Manufacturing in Warrensville Heights.

“This investment in Ohio roads will create up to 65,000 jobs and literally pave the way for new economic growth and business expansion,” Manning said.

Constituents in her district, which includes Lorain and Huron counties, constantly talk about the need to create jobs in Ohio to keep their grown children from moving out of state to find work, Manning said.

“That’s what this is about,” Manning said. “It’s a jobs bill, probably the largest jobs bill passed in this General Assembly.”

At least 90 percent of the borrowed money is to be spent within 75 miles of the Ohio Turnpike, Manning said.

Toll rates also will be frozen for 10 years for local drivers who use the E-ZPass automated toll payment system for drives up to 30 miles, she said.
Manning added she was very happy Kasich did not use a line-item veto to remove those conditions.

The transportation budget prompted criticism in the Ohio House of Representatives, but it had support from local leaders eager to get a jump on projects to smooth out and expand roads.

Elyria Mayor Holly Brinda testified in favor of the budget and has said more state money will help redirect traffic flow around the SR 57, Interstate 90 and Ohio Turnpike interchange, opening up the city’s west side for new development.

North Ridgeville Mayor David Gillock also supported the bill to help pay for widening Lear Nagle and Center Ridge roads, both projects that have been in the planning stages for years.

“I applaud Governor Kasich and the members of the General Assembly for working together to pass House Bill 51,” Gillock said when the Ohio Senate approved the plan. “The legislation will help accelerate a number of local and regional projects that have been stalled by a lack of funds. Not only will this plan help improve our roads and streets, but it will create jobs, increase economic development and improve the economy.”

  • Additional key parts of the bill include:
  • Increasing the speed limit to 70 miles per hour, on highways outside urban areas.
  • Lowering the late fee for vehicle registration from $20 to $10.
  • Allowing for the multi-year registration of certain vehicles.
  • Requiring a stop sign or yield sign, at the discretion of ODOT, at all railroad crossings where passive warning 
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