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DeWine Reveals Plans for Highway Construction Supported by Gas Tax Hike

Photo of Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine
Gov. Mike DeWine at a press conference on the roof of a parking garage, overlooking the Columbus Crossroads project at the I-70/I-71 corridor.

Gov. Mike DeWine unveiled plans for the next phase of construction on the busy and complicated confluence of two freeways in downtown Columbus. He says the recently approved gas tax increase will make projects like this possible – at least for a little while.

DeWine said big exchanges like Columbus Crossroads at the I-70/I-71 corridor are in urban areas, but there are smaller safety-related road projects throughout the state.  And they’ll all be helped by the gas tax increase taking effect July 1. He wanted an 18 cent per gallon hike, which he said would have financed a ten year plan for road construction, repair and maintenance, but he appreciates the 10 and a half cent increase approved by the legislature.

“This is a shorter time. I’m not sure how many years, but this is a shorter time. But we’re going to be fine for the first couple of years, first three years probably. Maybe into the fourth year.”

The gas tax increase will bring in $865 million a year, with 55 percent going to the state and the rest to local governments.

Karen is a lifelong Ohioan who has served as news director at WCBE-FM, assignment editor/overnight anchor at WBNS-TV, and afternoon drive anchor/assignment editor in WTAM-AM in Cleveland. In addition to her daily reporting for Ohio’s public radio stations, she’s reported for NPR, the BBC, ABC Radio News and other news outlets. She hosts and produces the Statehouse News Bureau’s weekly TV show “The State of Ohio”, which airs on PBS stations statewide. She’s also a frequent guest on WOSU TV’s “Columbus on the Record”, a regular panelist on “The Sound of Ideas” on ideastream in Cleveland, appeared on the inaugural edition of “Face the State” on WBNS-TV and occasionally reports for “PBS Newshour”. She’s often called to moderate debates, including the Columbus Metropolitan Club’s Issue 3/legal marijuana debate and its pre-primary mayoral debate, and the City Club of Cleveland’s US Senate debate in 2012.