COLUMBUS (WCMH) — As Ohio’s economy gets going, traffic is getting going with it.
The Ohio Department of Transportation reports traffic levels are increasing, after dropping dramatically during the shutdown, and that may affect ODOTs budget.
Ohio’s gas tax went up 10.5 cents last July. During the shutdown, there were far fewer cars on the road, meaning less gas was purchased.
“We know there will be an impact to our budget,” ODOT spokesman Matt Bruning said.
According to ODOT, traffic levels dropped to a low of 49 percent in April. With gas tax revenue down, it’s too early to tell how much it will affect the bottom line, but they’re already putting the brakes on some projects.
”We have been looking at the projects in the books and saying what are immediate needs and what are things that we could wait for,” Bruning said.
The decline in drivers did help ODOT in some ways, as some work normally done at night could be done during the day.
”We actually have 41 projects across the state that were able to take advantage of those extended hours,” Bruning added.
ODOT expects traffic levels to continue to rise, but it is not clear how soon they will reach the same levels as years past.