Ohio maps out areas to be posted at 70 mph

By Keith Goble, Land Line state legislative editor | 5/28/2013

On July 1, truckers and others traveling on Ohio’s rural interstates can travel 70 mph.

Gov. John Kasich approved the 5-mph increase, up from 65 mph, in April as part of the state’s transportation budget bill. The change brings Ohio in line with 24 other states that authorize all vehicles to travel at least 70 mph.

The Ohio Department of Transportation last week released a map identifying the roadways around the state that are affected. New speeds are authorized on 570 of 1,332 miles of rural interstates.

Affected stretches include:

  • Interstate 70 from the Indiana border to the Wheeling area, excluding Dayton, Columbus and Zanesville;
  • Interstate 71 from the Jeremiah Morrow Bridge to the Cuyahoga/Medina County line, excluding Columbus;
  • Interstate 75 from just outside Toledo to north of Dayton, excluding Findlay and Lima;
  • Interstate 76 from just outside Akron to west of Youngstown;
  • Interstate 77 from outside Canton to the West Virginia border; and
  • Interstate 90 from outside Cleveland to the Pennsylvania border.

ODOT plans to make 317 new signs to alert travelers in the affected areas to the speed change. The upgrades have a price tag of about $8,300.

According to the agency, the signage is expected to be in place and revealed on July 1.

Speed changes in the Buckeye State are common in recent years. In 2009, truck speeds were increased from 55 mph to 65 mph on rural interstates – the same as other vehicles. In 2011, the Ohio Turnpike implemented a 70 mph limit.

Other speed changes in this year’s budget bill that are set to take effect this summer include setting the maximum speed for urban interstate outer belts such as Interstate 675 around Dayton and I-275 around Cincinnati at 65 mph – up from 60 mph.

Highways in congested areas could be set at 55 mph. Speeds on two-lane highways outside of cities could also increase to 60 mph from 55 mph.

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