The cash-strapped Ohio Department of Transportation is hoping to bring in millions through advertising at the state’s 45 interstate rest areas. The agency spends up to $50 million on maintaining those rest areas each year. And ODOT spokesman Steve Faulkner tells Ohio Public Radio’s Karen Kasler advertising could offset some of those costs.
ODOT’s financial problems have forced the delay of several big projects across the state. So the agency is now also actively looking into privately-funded partnerships to build the second Innerbelt Bridge in Cleveland, the Brent Spence Bridge in Cincinnati, the Portsmouth Bypass in Scioto County and the proposed Route 36/37 interchange on I-71 in Delaware County. A leasing arrangement on the Ohio Turnpike is still possible – a decision on that could be made by the end of the year.