New money is coming into the state department of transportation – from corporate sponsors. Statehouse correspondent Andy Chow has more.
In early 2012, ODOT’s Steve Faulkner says the state was facing a budget shortfall of $1.6 billion. He says policymakers, including Gov. John Kasich, started looking for ways to close the gap.
ODOT now has a deal with State Farm to sponsor the advertisement of the state’s 5-1-1 information hotline and the Highway Service Patrol. Faulkner says the deal, which brings in $8.5 million a year, and other moves have helped speed up construction.
“We’re seeing that with the construction of many projects, the Innerbelt project in Cleveland, widening I-75 in Toledo, and others throughout the state, that we’re able to get tackled and get constructed now using today’s dollars," Faulkner said.
Faulkner says the state continues to look for ways to generate revenue from other state-owned assets, such as rest stops and bridges.