Wednesday, June 06, 2012

Innovation, Efficiency Frees Up $400 Million for Future Transportation Projects

COLUMBUS (Wednesday, June 6, 2012) – Improved department efficiency, workforce and vehicle fleet reductions, higher than projected gas tax receipts, the elimination of federal earmarks, and savings from a mild winter are allowing the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) to dump $400 million into the budget for major new construction projects throughout the state. That was the announcement made earlier today at a meeting of the Transportation Review and Advisory Council (TRAC) and it means some construction projects will see future delays significantly reduced or eliminated.

“I have said time and time again that we have great people at ODOT who are going to amaze us and that’s happening right now,” said ODOT Director Jerry Wray. “Our employees are working at a rapid pace to reduce our cost of doing business and improve service to the state’s motoring public. We’re innovating and approaching the delivery of services in a new way, and all of this is allowing us to save millions of dollars that we can put into our major construction budget.”

ODOT has saved a total of $400 million over the next five fiscal years (2013-2017) and added that money to the state’s capital budget: $200 million in fiscal year 2013 and $50 million for each of the four following fiscal years.

The $200 million for fiscal year 2013 includes:

$20 million not used by ODOT’s district offices in 2012
$90 million in workforce reductions and cost savings as a result of improved agency efficiency ($40 million in savings carried over from fiscal year 2012 and $50 million saved in 2013)
$90 million in higher than projected gas tax receipts and the elimination of federal earmarks

The TRAC voted eight to zero (one member was absent) to accept the updated list of the transportation construction projects to be funded over the next two decades. A copy of the list detailing the anticipated, estimated construction timeframe is available here.