This is the third State of the Transportation System Report for the Ohio Department of Transportation. The annual document is analogous to a corporation’s annual report to the shareholders. In this case, ODOT is the corporation and all constituencies interested in transportation are the stockholders.
The highlights of this year’s report are:
• The fiscal forecast for highways is greatly improved from last year’s report, primarily because of higher federal revenue and increased operating savings at ODOT.
• The fiscal forecast for transit is more uncertain because much of Ohio’s future transit funding increases will be dependent upon annual decisions by Congress.
• The bridges and pavements on the state highway system are in good shape. ODOT has adopted new bridge and pavement allocations to better target funds to those areas with greatest pavement and bridge deficiencies.
• ODOT will increase expenditures on local projects by more than 10 percent because of the increases in federal funds.
• Ohio’s transit agencies are continuing to examine new strategies to support the "welfare to work" initiatives and to respond to the shifting urban landscape.
• The Transportation Review Advisory Council completed its first round of statewide hearings for requested new construction projects. The TRAC is expected to complete its ranking of projects late in 1998.
• ODOT’s major new construction budget will be significantly larger than forecasted last year. The budget for new projects should continue to be $300 million through 2003.
• ODOT’s overall construction program will be the largest in history, consistently surpassing $1 billion from 2000 to 2003.
• Despite the large program, many local project requests will not be met. ODOT will not be providing all the funding needed for local transportation projects.
• Likewise under this scenario, only about one-quarter of the current demand for major new construction projects will be met.