Truck drivers will have to wait a little longer to see what
the Ohio Department of Transportation and the Ohio Turnpike Commission have up
their sleeves to attract them back to the toll way.
Gov. Bob Taft had said he hoped to see the plans on his desk
by Sept. 30, but that did not happen.
Lauren Dehrmann, a turnpike spokeswoman, said department
officials are still in the process of finalizing some of the financial details
in the plan, which could include a reduction in tolls or a fuel rebate for
The Turnpike Commission is scheduled to meet Oct. 18, when
additional action is anticipated. Dehrmann said the joint ODOT-Turnpike report
and recommendations should be finished in time for the commission to consider
during that meeting.
The governor requested the plan during a tour of northern
Ohio communities in August where complaints about truck traffic have been on
the rise in the past five years.
The “end of the month” deadline that the governor issued at the time was not
considered a firm date from the beginning, Dehrmann said. And with the governor
out of the country since Sept. 24 and not expected back until this week, the
report’s presence on his desk before then might not have been particularly
is continuing on the plan, Dehrmann said. “But we do anticipate something being
On Sept. 8, the Ohio Turnpike increased the speed limit for
large trucks on the 240-mile toll road from 55 mph to 65 mph, the same speed as
all other vehicles, in hopes of steering truckers off overloaded two-lane roads
and back onto the toll road.
Truck traffic began spilling over to smaller roads after an
82 percent toll increase took effect in 1999.
– By Keith Goble, state legislative editor