A planned $429 million bypass around the city of Portsmouth in Scioto County will be the largest project in the history of the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT), and it will also be the first public-private financing partnership, reports The Columbus Dispatch. A new mechanism adopted in 2011 “allows the private sector to build and pay for public transportation projects while the state repays them over time,” according to the article. “It’s kind of like when you buy your house (with a mortgage). You get the road up front,” said ODOT spokeswoman Melissa Ayers. The total cost to taxpayers has not been determined yet; ODOT will use “a combination of federal funds that in past years have been earmarked for Appalachian highways and other construction money” to make payments over the 35-year contract. The 16-mile bypass will link Route 23 and Route 52, allowing drivers “to avoid about 26 miles of Rts. 23 and 52 and a slew of stoplights through Portsmouth.” Construction is expected to take about four years. For more, read the full article.