For informational/historical purposes only.

NEWS RELEASE
The Ohio Department of Transportation & The Office of Governor Bob Taft
October 11, 2004

 

TAFT PLAN TO IMPROVE SAFETY AND MOBILITY IN NORTHERN OHIO
Strategies will help to move truck traffic from rural routes to the Ohio Turnpike

(COLUMBUS October 11, 2004) - Governor Bob Taft today announced strategies to improve safety by reducing truck traffic on routes parallel to the Ohio Turnpike. The governor was joined by Ohio Department of Transportation Director Gordon Proctor, Executive Director of the Ohio Turnpike Commission (OTC) Gary Suhadolnik and Ohio State Highway Patrol Superintendent Col. Paul McClellan.

My tour of routes parallel to the Turnpike in northern Ohio provided a dramatic look at the heavy congestion and safety hazards caused by trucks avoiding the Turnpike, said Taft. The Northern Ohio Freight Plan will improve safety and mobility throughout the region by moving trucks to the Turnpike and reducing traffic on the smaller routes.

  • The governors Northern Ohio Freight Plan consists of the following:
     Lower Turnpike tolls for commercial trucks;
  •  Increase truck weight and speed enforcement on the parallel state routes; and
  •  Increase speed limit for trucks using the Ohio Turnpike from 55 mph to 65 mph.

Today, Taft announced an 18-month trial Turnpike toll reduction for commercial trucks is expected to begin by February 2005, at the latest. The proposed toll reductions will vary from approximately two percent for the lighter vehicles to 57 percent for the heaviest trucks. ODOT and OTC will share the costs of this reduction for trucks weighing between 23,000 pounds and 90,000 pounds. The new, lower tolls represent a rollback of between 58 percent and 60 percent of the toll increases that were phased in from 1995 to 1999 for heavy trucks in Classes 7 and 8 (which represent nearly half of the truck volume on the Turnpike). For the heaviest trucks, the new rates will be lower than they were in 1982. The proposed toll rate for these trucks would be only $1 higher than it was in 1955.

The speed limit for trucks using the Turnpike was increased from 55 mph to 65 mph in early September.

25 State Highway Patrol troopers will be added to enforce truck weight limits on routes parallel to the Turnpike. ODOT will pay for the additional troopers, which is expected to cost $2.5 million initially. ODOT and the Patrol will closely monitor crash patterns on the Turnpike and the adjacent routes during the trial period to determine the effect these changes have to overall northern Ohio accident trends.

Our highway network is essential to our states economy, said Taft. However, to ensure this economy remains vibrant and motorists traveling through northern Ohio are safe, it is vital we reduce the truck traffic volumes that routes parallel to the Turnpike are experiencing.

This most recent announcement continues the governors focus on providing Ohio with a safe and efficient transportation system. In addition to the Turnpike plan, the governor unveiled his 10-year, $5 billion Jobs and Progress Plan in August 2003 and in 2000 he initiated the Railroad Grade Separation Program to build a series of railroad/highway overpasses to deal with growing train traffic.

Related Support Material:


Northern Ohio Freight Strategy
Recommendations to Improve Traffic Safety and Congestion
pdf 
(6.06 Mb- Large File) *


Northern Ohio Freight Strategy
Recommendations to Improve Traffic Safety and Congestion - Appendices
pdf 
(3.77 Mb- Large File)*


Proposed Toll Rates, Full 241-Mile Trip Across The Ohio Turnpike Weight Classes 4 Through 9
html or pdf
*  (28 Kb)


Northern Ohio Freight Strategy Fact Sheet October 11, 2004
html or pdf
*  (76 Kb)


Northwest Ohio Freight Corridor Plan Fact Sheet October 11, 2004
html or pdf
* (80 Kb)


Ohio Turnpike Commission Temporary Toll Reduction Schedule of Tolls for Classes 4-5, 6-7 and 8-9
pdf
* (54 Kb)

*Requires Acrobat Reader