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Published: Monday, 8/27/2012

Turnpike leasing is topic of hearing


The possibilities of leasing the Ohio Turnpike to a private operator or some other change in its management will be the subject of a hearing today in Maumee.

The hearing was organized by Ed FitzGerald, Cuyahoga County executive. The Lucas County commissioners are hosts for the hearing. It is to start at 6 p.m. in the Maumee City Council chambers, 400 Conant St. It is expected to last about two hours.

The Kasich administration has hired consultants to study the toll road and evaluate alternatives for its operation, including a full lease to a private concessionaire; contracting out certain functions, such as maintenance; merging the Ohio Turnpike Commission into the Ohio Department of Transportation, or maintaining the status quo.

The study, expected to cost more than $3 million in mostly federal funds, will also examine privatization options for rest areas on Ohio highways that are not part of the interstate system. A report is expected late this year.

The hearing is separate from that process and one of several Mr. FitzGerald has organized to gather public opinion about the turnpike and its future.

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