June 19th, 2012
Ohio to Monetize Bridges, Toilets With Naming Rights
By Mark Niquette and Brian Chappatt
Ohio is trying to become the first state to sell road and bridge naming rights and commercialize rest stops, as Republican Governor John Kasich addresses a $1.6 billion transportation funding shortfall.
The Ohio Transportation Department plans to find more money in highway facilities, including interchanges and rest-stop toilets and snack machines, to produce as much as $27 million a year in revenue and savings. The agency also wants to add restaurants, gas stations and hotels at highway pull-offs.
“When the money’s getting tight, you’ve got to get creative,” said Guy Davidson, who oversees $31 billion as director of municipal investments at AllianceBernstein LP in New York. “State and local governments have assets that are off the balance sheet that they can draw on and monetize.”