State must avoid road to ruin

Thoughtful Ohio legislators go into the new year with some bad news to ponder. It came last year in the form of a report that the state lacks adequate funding to maintain highways and bridges.

According to the report, by 2040, the state Department of Transportation will need $55 billion to maintain roads and bridges adequately. Only $41 billion is projected to be available for the purpose.

That is a substantial gap, but the good news is that if lawmakers act now, the shortfall can be made up. The longer they delay in taking decisive action, the more painful it will be for taxpayers, however.

It has been suggested fuel taxes and license fees should be increased. In addition, voter approval of a bond issue for roads and bridges has been suggested.

No government official likes to tell constituents they will have to pay more for infrastructure. But the longer Ohio officials delay taking action, the more difficult it will be to solve the problem.