Ohio to look at leasing rest areas in $2.85M study

AP News
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Posted: Feb 13, 2012 5:17 PM
Ohio to look at leasing rest areas in $2.85M study

Ohio officials want to know whether the state's 101 rest stops could be leased to a private operator and how much a potential deal might be worth.

A legislative panel on Monday approved the state's use of $2.85 million in federal research money to pay a consultant to evaluate privatizing the rest areas along interstates and state roadways.

Under the contract with Austin, Texas-based KPMG Corporate Finance LLC, consultants will also explore the idea of leasing the Ohio Turnpike. The 241-mile roadway is funded through tolls and the sale of gas and food at rest stops.

Gov. John Kasich has said leasing rest areas might be a way to address a gap in the transportation budget.

Ohio pays between $30 million and $50 million annually to maintain the facilities.