Future of Ohio turnpike to be announced Thursday

Gov. Kasich will make announcement regarding the turnpike Thursday.
Gov. Kasich will make announcement regarding the turnpike Thursday.

TOLEDO, OH (Toledo News Now) – Gov. John Kasich will be in northwest Ohio Thursday to make a big announcement about the turnpike's future.

Ohio Trucking Association Trustee Ed Nagle said he thinks the announcement will be one of three possibilities, each of which could shape the future of the road and those who drive it.

"The first would be an outright privatization of the toll road (i.e. lease it to a foreign or another entity)," Nagle said. "The second would be to have it revert under ODOT, and the third would be to leave it operating as is."

As president of the Nagle Trucking Company in Walbridge, relies heavily on the Ohio Turnpike.

"It is very safe, it is very well maintained, so a lot of times that's the best option," he said.

Leasing the turnpike could potentially bring more money to the state, something Nagle is a fan of only if the money will be contained to the northern part of the state.

He also expressed concern by looking at what happened to Indiana's toll road after it privatized. Nagle said the quality of the road has declined and the tolls have gone up over 200 percent.

Nagle believes an ODOT-run turnpike would make a lot of sense.

"ODOT runs a very efficient operation," he said. "They manage and maintain a tremendous amount of roads."

Wood County Commissioner Tim Brown echoed many of Nagle's concerns, but said he has faith in the decision the governor will make.

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