Ohio Turnpike Sued Because of Toll Increase to Help Fund Opportunity Corridor, Other Projects


The Ohio Turnpike's 2014 rate increase to help fund the Opportunity Corridor and other infrastructure projects is unlawful, according to a recent lawsuit filed by a Cleveland woman.

The suit, first filed to the county common pleas court and then bumped to federal court this week, says the toll hike violate the constitution's commerce and equal protection clauses, among a host of other claims (read the full suit below).

Because the Ohio Turnpike's "maintenance, operation, and security" are "funded almost exclusively through tolls collected from Turnpike users," and that those who don't use the turnpike don't pay anything for it, that the Ohio Turnpike bumped up rates in January 2014 to raise millions of dollars to fund non-turnpike infrastructure projects is illegal, it says.

According to the suit, "The Ohio Turnpike and Infrastructure Commission agreed to use Turnpike tolls to fund $930 million in such Unlawful Infrastructure Projects, which are not part of the Turnpike system." The suit cites the $39 million raised for the controversial Opportunity Corridor, $12.9 million for "improvements on U.S. 250 between downtown Sandusky and Bogart Road," among others.

"Because the increased Turnpike tolls, which are being used to fund non-Turnpike projects," the suit says, "are (1) not based on fair approximation of use or privilege for use of the facilities for whose benefit they are imposed; and (2) excessive in comparison with the government benefit conferred, they violate the Commerce Clause and are unlawful."

Read the full suit here:

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Doug Brown

Doug Brown is a staff writer at Scene with a passion for public records laws and investigative reporting. A native of Ann Arbor, Mich., he has an M.A. in journalism from the Kent State University School of Journalism and Mass Communication and a B.A. in political science from Hiram College. Prior to joining Scene,...
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