New Ohio division to seek road project funding

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) -- The Ohio transportation department is creating a new division focused on finding alternative forms of funding for road and bridge projects and other costs.

The department says it could save about $200 million annually through cost reduction, operating some rest areas as businesses and offering sponsorships and naming rights for certain properties and roadways. It says more could be saved through public-private partnerships and other means.

Department Director Jerry Wray on Tuesday announced the Division of Innovative Delivery.

The department seeks funds for several projects, including the Brent Spence Bridge connecting Cincinnati to northern Kentucky over the Ohio River, an interchange for U.S. Route 36 and state Route 37 on I-71 north of Columbus, a Portsmouth bypass in Scioto County and a Rickenbacker connector in Pickaway County.