In this Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2012 photo motorists exit onto the Ohio Turnpike in Streetsboro, Ohio. Ohio Gov. John Kasich’s decision not to lease the Ohio Turnpike is likely to help him avoid a lengthy political battle over the toll road in northern Ohio. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)
TOLEDO, Ohio (AP) — Ohio’s governor spent the past two years talking about how much money could be pocketed by selling or leasing the Ohio Turnpike despite a loud chorus of complaints over potential toll increases and job losses.
That’s why it was a bit of surprise when the governor himself announced this past week that he instead wants to borrow against future toll revenue to generate up to $3 billion for highway and bridge construction projects.
By deciding against handing the toll road over to a private operator, Gov. John Kasich quieted some of his critics and likely avoided a lengthy political battle. While the decision also opened him up to questions about taking on more debt and how the new construction money will be divided, it showed a willingness to adjust his goals in the face of criticism.