Ohio Proposal Needs $2 Billion to Fix 23 Miles of Congested Columbus Highway

Traffic Jam

The Ohio Department of Transportation says it needs nearly $2 billion to slow the growth of commute times and make a stretch of highway in one of the state’s fastest-growing counties safer.

Delaware County’s population has more than doubled in more than 20 years and increased by more than 15,000 people in the last three years. That growth has pushed a 23-mile area of U.S. Highway 23 north of Columbus to 30% over its capacity.

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Ohio Commits $120 Million for Transportation Projects

Road Construction

Ohio plans to spread more than $120 million of taxpayer money over 13 counties for road projects, with $15 million spent to expand bus rapid transit in Columbus.

The new construction funding list from the Transportation Review Advisory Council includes $21 million for new construction, $35.5 million in additional construction, $33.4 million in new money for preliminary engineering, and another $28.4 million for more funding for development projects.

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Governor Mike DeWine Announces Hundreds of Air Taxis to be Manufactured in Ohio

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine, Lt. Governor Jon Husted, Ohio Department of Development Director Lydia Mihalik, and JobsOhio President and CEO J.P. Nauseef announced on Monday that Joby Aviation Inc. plans to build an electric air taxi manufacturing facility in the state.

According to the press release, the company will build the facility at the Dayton International Airport and anticipates the project to create 2,000 new jobs in the area.

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New Ohio School Bus Safety Task Force Holds First Meeting

A new state task force in Ohio focused on thoroughly evaluating the safety of the state’s school buses held its first meeting on Monday at the Ohio Department of Public Safety headquarters.

As previously reported by The Ohio Star Ohio Governor Mike DeWine formed the Ohio School Bus Safety Working Group last month following a Northwestern Local School District bus crash that killed one student and injured more than two dozen in Clark County.

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Ohio Governor DeWine Signs $13.5 Billion Transportation Budget Including New Rail Safety Measures

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine signed a nearly $13.5 billion state transportation budget on Friday, including rail safety measures that lawmakers added in reaction to the February 3rd train derailment and toxic chemical spill in East Palestine.

With oversight from the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) and the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO), among other provisions, the railway safety measures call for two-person crews for freight trains and requires the installation of wayside detectors at shorter distances, every 10 to 15 miles, to help identify issues. The Federal Railroad Administration currently permits the placement of some wayside devices up to 25 miles apart from one another.

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Ohio Looking at Options to Replace Gas Tax

Calling the gas tax an unsustainable way to fund transportation infrastructure, the Ohio Department of Transportation is studying its options.

Using a $4 million federal grant, Ohio developed a website to seek public opinion on potential funding options. Those results will eventually be forwarded to the General Assembly later this year, according to a promotional video produced by ODOT.

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Ohio Governor Dispatches ODOT to Aid New York in Deadly Weather Disaster

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine announced Thursday that he dispatched support from the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) to aid in emergency snow removal efforts in the state of New York following an “epic, once-in-a-lifetime” weather disaster responsible for killing over two dozen people.

A convoy of 28 ODOT workers, 12 tandem dump trucks, two utility mechanic trucks, and four crew cab pick-up trucks departed from Ashtabula Wednesday morning for a six-day deployment. The ODOT crew consists of highway technicians, mechanics, and managers from District 4 (Akron), District 11 (New Philadelphia), and District 12 (Cleveland).

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Ohio Governor DeWine Opposes Biden’s Call to Suspend Gas Taxes

While President Joe Biden this week began urging Congress to suspend the national gas tax for three months and asking states to do the same with their gas levies, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine (R) came out against the idea. 

The federal government charges gasoline buyers $0.18 per gallon and diesel motorists $0.24 per gallon. The Buckeye State meanwhile imposes a $0.385-per-gallon tax on gasoline as well as a $0.47-per-gallon tax on diesel and other fuel types. Both levels of government use the revenues from these sources to fund transportation projects. Biden maintains that dollars flowing to the U.S. Treasury are sufficient to prevent compromising federal highway repairs in the event of a three-month tax holiday.

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Kentucky, Ohio Officials Start to Identify Contractors for $2 Billion Brent Spence Bridge Project

Transportation officials in Kentucky and Ohio continue to work in concert on a new Ohio River bridge connecting Cincinnati with Northern Kentucky, and they hope construction on the more than $2 billion megaproject could start by the end of next year.

Besides building a companion bridge to the existing Brent Spence Bridge, officials in both states want to widen the interstate highways connected by the bridges. A 5-mile stretch in Kentucky and a 1-mile stretch in Ohio each would get one new lane in each direction across a 6-mile stretch.

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Ohio Gov. DeWine and Other Republican Governors Call on Biden to Ease Supply Chain Regulations

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine wants the Biden administration to ease restrictions on the trucking industry to help small businesses and consumers get access to goods during the holiday season.

DeWine has joined 14 other Republican governors in asking the federal government to suspend what they called burdensome regulations and make immediate changes to federal law that could relieve supply chain backlogs.

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Ohio House Finance Committee Makes Its Own Road Funding Proposal of 10.7 Cent Gas Tax Increase Phased in Over Three Years, No Indexing

COLUMBUS, Ohio – After more than an hour and a half delay waiting for the substitute bill to be prepared, House Finance Chairman Scott Oelslager (R-District 48) called the meeting to order and presented the Fiscal Year 2020-2021 proposed Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) Budget under HB 62. The Transportation Budget, as presented by Oelslager (pictured above), would include an increase of 10.7 cents per gallon on gasoline and 20 cents per gallon on diesel. There would be a three-year phase-in on both increases as follows: Gasoline 5 cents in October 1, 2019 3 cents on October 1, 2020 2.7 cent on October 1, 2021 Diesel 10 cents on October 1, 2019 6 cents on October 1, 2020 4 cents on October 1, 2021 And, it was noted, “This increase will not be indexed,” with the emphasis included in the hard-copy document distributed to the Finance Committee members. The document also reported that the increases in the state motor fuel taxes, once fully phased in, will yield approximately $872 million.  The current split of 60/40 between ODOT and local governments will be maintained. The proposal includes new registration fees for electric and hybrid vehicles, at $200 and $100, respectively. Compressed…

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