COLUMBUS, OH (FOX19) - The Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) has unveiled a map identifying interstate highway locations where motorists will be legally permitted to drive 70 miles per hour beginning this summer.
The new designations follow recently passed legislation permitting speeds to increase from 65 to 70 mph on certain sections of interstate highways. H.B. 51 – the state's transportation budget bill, which goes into effect on July 1, 2013 – increased speeds to 70 miles per hour on interstates that are "outside urbanized areas."
The 70 mph speed limit is not new to Ohio. Motorists are already legally permitted to drive 70 miles per hour on all 241 miles of the Ohio Turnpike. And according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, 34 other states in the nation have some posted speed limits of 70 miles per hour or higher including Indiana, Michigan, Kentucky and West Virginia.
ODOT is making 317 new signs to comply with the legislation and to alert motorists to the increased speed at a total cost of $8,287.19. The signs are expected to be in place and revealed on July 1.
- 8 are "Reduced Speed Ahead" signs
- 48 are brand new speed limit signs
- 261 are sign pieces that will simply overlay the current 65 number with the new speed limit
The new law increases the speed on 570 miles out of 1,332 miles of interstate highways in Ohio. The exact location of the speed increases are:
- From the Indiana border in the west to just outside of Wheeling, WV in the east, excluding Dayton, Columbus and Zanesville
- From the Jeremiah Morrow Bridge in southwest Ohio to just south of the border of the Cuyahoga/Medina County line in the north, excluding Columbus
- From just outside of Toledo going south until just north of Dayton, excluding Findlay and Lima
- From just outside Akron going east to just west of Youngstown
- From just outside of Canton south to the West Virginia border
- From just outside of Cleveland to the Pennsylvania border