Highway 'hot spot' locations in Ohio - Cincinnati News, Weather, Sports from FOX19 NOW-WXIX

Highway 'hot spot' locations in Ohio

The Ohio Department of Transportation's Highway Safety Programs focus on both freeway and non-freeway, high-crash and congested locations. Each year, the department prioritizes these locations for improvements using available funding.

The Program is administered by the Office of Systems Planning and Program Management and District Safety Coordinators in each region of the state. Each year, about $65 million in funding is awarded for projects in a variety of categories, including:

Highway Safety Program (HSP)

HSP identifies the top 200 Non-Freeway Locations and the top 50 Freeway Locations for crashes. These are chosen based on crash rate (crashes per volume of traffic), frequency (number of crashes), density (crashes per length of road), severity, and other analytical factors.

Hot Spot

Hot Spot Locations are defined as any two-mile segment of freeway with more than 250 crashes or a non-freeway location with more than 250 crashes over three years.

These are locations with a high number of rear-end collisions, which typically occur in congested areas. ODOT examines those locations with more than 150 rear-end crashes in a two-mile section (both freeways and non-freeways).

Each year, information on these top locations is shared with ODOT District Offices. Each District Office is then required to study and address high-crash and congested locations through an annual work plan.

To determine the best solutions for fixing these locations, each District Office or local sponsor must conduct an engineering analysis that includes a review of existing roadway conditions and crash reports. This analysis will help identify common crash patterns and probable causes to determine the best strategies to reduce crashes.

Projects sponsors are encouraged to examine a full range of options from short-term, low-cost strategies, such as new signs, pavement markings and drainage improvements to mid-cost, mid-term strategies such as new traffic signals, turn lanes and realignments.

District Offices may pay for these improvements through their annual budget or they can seek money each spring (April) and fall (October) through ODOT's Highway Safety Program, which awards $65 million annually. Long-term, high-cost strategies over $5 million are funded through the department's Major New Construction Program.

A six-member committee at ODOT headquarters reviews all of the Highway Safety Program applications and supporting safety studies. The committee can approve a proposal, select a different safety strategy or request further study before allocating money.

Once funding is secured, safety projects are scheduled for construction. How quickly projects proceed to construction depends on the available funding and complexity of the project. Short-term, low-cost projects can be implemented within a few months, while other projects which require environmental mitigation, or involve complex engineering design and or utility and right of way relocation may take several years. In all cases, ODOT encourages sponsors to act as quickly as possible.

Upon project completion, the department monitors locations to make sure the improvements are reducing crashes as designed.

ODOT maintains a few different lists of high crash locations.

General information is available on-line at


First, we have our HSP Locations (HSP = Highway Safety Program). These locations consist of freeway or non-freeway sections or intersections are identified based on several different criteria including crash frequency, crash rate, severity, annual change in crashes, etc.

These locations are available on-line at


Secondly, we have our Hot Spot locations, which are non-freeway or freeway, 2 mile sections with 250 or more crashes in three years.

These locations are also available on-line




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