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.
Standing on the roof of a parking garage overlooking I-70 approaching I-71 in downtown Columbus, DeWine talked about construction on those freeways coming in the next few years - with the next phase of the project starting next week.
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 he said work like this now and in the future will be helped by the gas tax increase taking effect July 1. DeWine had wanted 18 cents, 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 hike.
“This is a shorter time. I’m not sure how many years, but this is shorter time. But we’re going to be fine for the first couple of years, first three years probably. Maybe into the fourth year," DeWine said.
The gas tax increase will bring in $865 million a year, with 55 percent going to the state and the rest to local governments.