$2.9M Turnpike study to add Interstate rest areas


COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) -- A study of the privatization of the Ohio Turnpike will also weigh the possibility of leasing rest areas along the state's freeways.

The Ohio Department of Transportation has asked for $2.85 million in state money to pay Austin, Texas-based KPMG Corporate Finance LLC to evaluate financial options of privatizing both the toll road and Interstate rest areas. The agency made the request to the state Controlling Board, a legislative panel that approves unbid contracts and is scheduled to meet Monday.

In his State of the State speech Tuesday, Gov. John Kasich (KAY'-sik) mentioned leasing rest areas as a way to address a recently discovered gap in the transportation budget.

He said private rest stops might be a way to "get some good food, a lot of other good things along there."