Higher speed limits coming this summer will shave a few minutes off the ride from Columbus to Cleveland, but don't put the pedal to the floor just yet. Wait at least until you clear the Columbus city limits.
Higher speed limits coming this summer will shave a few minutes off the ride from Columbus to Cleveland, but don’t put the pedal to the floor just yet.
Wait at least until you clear the Columbus city limits.
The Ohio Department of Transportation announced yesterday that the speed-limit increase from 65 mph to 70 mph will start on July 1 on 570 of 1,332 miles of rural interstate highways. The increase will affect stretches of highway in all directions from Columbus.
Gov. John Kasich signed off on the speed increase for rural interstates on April 1. Setting urban boundaries was left to ODOT Director Jerry Wray, who also can increase the limit from 55 to 60 on some two-lane highways.
ODOT’s new speed map shows 70 mph on I-71 from the Jeremiah-Morrow Bridge outside of Cincinnati to the Cuyahoga-Medina county line. Columbus is excluded. The higher limit also will affect I-70 from the Indiana border to Belmont County, near Wheeling, W.Va., but will exclude Columbus, Dayton and Zanesville.
Drivers leaving Columbus on I-71 cannot drive 70 mph until they are in Delaware County to the north (mile marker 129) or near the Franklin-Pickaway County line (mile marker 82) to the south.
On I-70 out of Columbus, the speed limit doesn’t hit 70 mph until drivers cross into Licking County (mile marker 119) to the east or Madison County (mile marker 85) to the west.
The speed limit will increase on rural stretches of I-75, I-76, I-77 and I-90 as well, but will exclude urban areas, including Dayton and Akron.
State transportation officials considered such things as census data, proximity to interchanges and the number of lanes on stretches of highway to determine where to increase the speed limit, said spokesman Steve Faulkner.
ODOT is creating 317 new speed-limit signs — 261 will get overlays, 48 will be newly minted and eight will highlight reduced speeds. Printing the signs will cost $8,287.19.
New placards should be finished next week, ODOT sign-shop supervisor Josh Wilson said. The agency will send signs out to county offices for installation. New signs should be up by July 2, Faulkner said.
Increasing the speed limit isn’t expected to result in any changes for the State Highway Patrol, Lt. Anne Ralston said.
“This is what we do every day,” she said. “We know where the posted speed limit is and what the speed limit is in various locations.”