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Ohio Governor Signs Bill Raising Speed Limit and Road Funding, Higher Truck Weights Dead

April 2, 2013

By Evan Lockridge

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Ohio Gov. John Kasich on Monday signed a transportation budget bill that includes higher speed limits and diverting money from the Ohio Turnpike for other road purposes.

Speed limits along rural interstates will move up to 70 mph under the new law, matching that along the Ohio Turnpike, up to 65 mph on urban outer beltways and congested highways, and up 60 mph on some nonurban, two-lane highways as determined by the Ohio Department of Transportation. Published reports indicate the state DOT has yet to determine what sections of roadway will get the higher limits.

The two-year measure that takes effect on July 1 allows the state to borrow up to $1.5 billion  against tolls collected from the state turnpike to help fund highway and bridge projects. When coupled with matching federal money along with local funds, it’s expected this will bring the pool of money for highway repairs to as high as $3 billion.

Money from Ohio Turnpike tolls will allowed to be used for other road projects, but stipulates that 90% be spent on projects within 75 miles of the turnpike.

The law also renames and expands the state turnpike commission to the Ohio Turnpike and Infrastructure Commission.

While the new law doesn’t call for a hike in the state’s fuel taxes, it does create a task force to examine transportation needs in the Buckeye State and whether a fuel tax increase is needed.

At one time lawmakers were looking at including in the legislation language that would have increased truck weights along state highways from 80,000 to 90,000 pounds, but it was blocked.

Comments

  1. 1. Duke Ganote [ April 03, 2013 @ 03:27AM ]

    Ohio's rural interstates carry 10% of our highway traffic, but just 5-6% of traffic deaths. The fatality rate of 0.67 on Ohio's rural interstates is FAR FAR LOWER than other rural roads' rates of 1.78 - 4.63 deaths per 100 million travel mile (latest federal Highway Statistics, Table FI-30). Ohio's fastest, safest, and most fuel-efficient roads carry long-distance travelers, truckers, and tourists. They deserve a higher speed limit.

  2. 2. Duke Ganote [ April 03, 2013 @ 03:27AM ]

    Ohio's rural interstates carry 10% of our highway traffic, but just 5-6% of traffic deaths. The fatality rate of 0.67 on Ohio's rural interstates is FAR FAR LOWER than other rural roads' rates of 1.78 - 4.63 deaths per 100 million travel mile (latest federal Highway Statistics, Table FI-30). Ohio's fastest, safest, and most fuel-efficient roads carry long-distance travelers, truckers, and tourists. They deserve a higher speed limit.

  3. 3. Dick Gaib [ July 21, 2013 @ 07:28AM ]

    I live in Ohio. Thank god we did not do what Indiana did, by taking their turnpike private. As a driver, semi, the difference is dramatic. Ohio has maintained and improved ours. Yes the purchaser for Indiana went out of business and the state now has to fix the mistake. The no government story that government cand not do anything correctly,is not always true. This works because the Ohio turnpike commission has operated as a independant agency, But with Kasich, getting involved, I hope this is not the start down the slippry slope.

 

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