An Ohio roadway under construction is slated to be Ohio's first toll road outside of the Ohio Turnpike.
The Butler Regional Highway is an 11-mile road scheduled to open in 2000 about 25 miles north of Cincinnati, linking Hamilton with I-75. The amount of the toll will be decided after a consultant submits a report with recommendations for a toll system. The road could include electronic toll booths.
After years of trying to get the new road funded, the Butler County Regional Transportation Improvement District struck a deal with the state. The state is paying for the $93 million highway, but the district promised to make regional road improvements without going back to the state or federal government for more money. Thus the tolls will pay both
for the maintenance of the new highway, as well as improvements to other roads in the area.
The Ohio Trucking Association is taking a wait and see attitude. Because it is a new road, the group doesn't have any real problems with it, according to spokesman David Bartosic. “They're not turning an existing road into a toll road, which of course we're watching very closely,” he
says, because the TEA-21 funding bill did allow states to turn existing highways into toll roads.