For informational/historical purposes only.

The Ohio Department of Transportation & The Ohio Turnpike Commission
August 5, 2003

Northern Ohio Freight Corridor Study
August 6, 2003

On August 5th and 6th, Gov. Bob Taft announced a comprehensive, 10-year transportation plan for the state of Ohio. Part of that plan includes an evaluation of freight traffic across the northern Ohio highway network, including the Ohio Turnpike.

There are many two-lane roads in northern Ohio that carry inordinate amounts of freight traffic – 30, 40, and even 50 percent trucks. These two-lane roads are overburdened, while the Ohio Turnpike has excess capacity to handle additional truck volumes. If more trucks used the turnpike, there would be less truck traffic in communities such as Woodville, Bellevue, and Parkman.

The Ohio Turnpike Commission (OTC) and Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) will explore various incentives for more trucks to use the Turnpike, including:

  • Coordinated toll collection with the Indiana and Pennsylvania turnpikes;

  • Closing of toll free interchange at State Route 49 in Williams County;

  • Better enforcement of size, weight and speed limit restrictions on the state road system;

  • Implementation of Electronic toll collection (ETC) to remove impediments to truck traffic flow on the turnpike;

  • Rebate of diesel fuel taxes collected for mileage traveled on the turnpike;

  • Toll reductions for certain classes of trucks; and

  • Remove Ohio State Highway Patrol from OTC’s operating budget and/or return additional fuel tax to OTC for fuel sold on the Turnpike. Additional money could subsidize items such as implementation of ETC, increased truckers rebates or increased maintenance costs.

While a whole host of incentives will be considered, any suggested remedies will accommodate the Turnpike’s need to meet its bond obligations and future maintenance needs.

The OTC and ODOT will jointly develop a scope of study, and hire an independent consultant to provide traffic and financial analysis. Such a study would begin in the fall 2003, and take at least 14 months to complete.

The OTC and ODOT received a $200,000 grant from the Federal Highway Administration to provide some funding for this study.