Its full speed ahead for Ohio as Governor John Kasich approves a $7.8 billion transportation budget. “Ohio ranks high among all states for the quality and maintenance of our highway infrastructure and we did it without ever having to raise the gas tax,” said Governor Kasich.
The 2018 – 2019 Transportation Budget Bill was signed into law on March 31, 2017. The bill was established to help the state improve its highways as well as be in a better position for the long-awaited self-driving vehicles and drones. Remember, Ohio is one of the few states selected for the research and testing of self-driving cars. “We’re determined to maintain the competitive edge we have with our highways, while also positioning our state for the industries of tomorrow with self-driving cars and drones,” he added.
Roads are of strategic importance to the economy. From the gas we put in our cars to the groceries on store shelves, all depends on roads. The $7.8 billion transportation budget will not just improve Ohio highways but also will make sure that the introduction of the autonomous vehicles becomes real and successful. And now there is the determination to improve Ohio roads and highways further to remain on the short list of states with the best roads in the country.
Recent reports indicate that the past seven years has seen more than a few states falling behind in repairing and maintaining their highway infrastructure. And Ohio wants to remain in the driver’s seat to push their economy forward, as depicted in its $14 billion investment for over 7,000 projects. The new transportation budget is enormous and will lead to the accomplishment of many necessary infrastructure projects. In fact, the state is planning to start and complete 43 major projects, 356 safety projects, 446 bridge projects, and 615 pavement projects within a span of just two years.
Additionally, the Transportation Research Center (TRC) projects in central Ohio are also included in the transportation budget. Some monies have been allocated to expand capabilities for self-driving research as well as to create smart highways where autonomous vehicles will be safely tested in real-life traffic situations. This will include improvement for highway U.S. 33, sections of Interstate 90 in northern Ohio, and I-270 in Columbus. The drone technology will also benefit from the transportation budget, with funds set aside for its development. Moreover, the funds will facilitate the ongoing plans to fly unmanned aircraft beyond the line of visual sight.
The transportation budget will give Ohio a much-needed competitive edge. It is a comprehensive budget that takes into account all highway infrastructure including smart highways. The 2-year transportation budget will without a doubt take Ohio’s highway infrastructure into the future.
Image Credit: Doug Kerr