ODOT 2019 construction

COLUMBUS - Boasting one of the largest network of roads and bridges in the nation, Ohio is spending $2.07 billion on projects to maintain or replace roads and bridges across the state in 2019.

These projects are funded by the state and federal motor fuel tax.

"Those who use our roads and bridges pay to maintain and improve them. Unfortunately, as the costs of maintaining and building roads and bridges continued to go up, revenues from the state motor fuel tax, a user fee, did not," said Ohio Department of Transportation Director Dr. Jack Marchbanks.

"However, the new transportation budget, which takes effect on Monday, includes additional revenues that will allow Ohio to continue moving forward."

That budget includes an additional 10 cent per gallon gas tax.

This construction season includes a total of 1,034 projects with 90 percent aimed at preserving existing roads and bridges. These projects include paving 5,166 miles of roadway, working on 871 bridges, and completing 246 safety-focused projects.

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Since 1990, truck traffic in Ohio has increased by 66 percent and passenger vehicle traffic is up 41 percent. The state's population has grown by 7.4 percent. At the same time, the number of lane miles maintained by ODOT has only grown by 3.6 percent.

"To some, orange barrels may mean frustration and delay, but they’re really a sign of progress and a growing economy in our state," said Marchbanks.