|James W. Shocknessy Ohio Turnpike|
Ohio Turnpike highlighted in red
|Maintained by OTIC[a]|
|Length:||241.26 mi (388.27 km)|
|Existed:||October 1, 1955 – present|
| I-80 from Indiana state line to near Youngstown
I-90 from Indiana state line to near Lorain
I-76 from Youngstown to Pennsylvania state line
|West end:||I-80 / I-90 / Ind. Toll Rd. at Indiana state line|
| I-75 near Toledo
I-90 near Lorain
I-480 near North Ridgeville
I-71 near Cleveland
I-77 near Akron
I-480 near Streetsboro
I-76 / I-80 near Youngstown
I-680 near Youngstown
|East end:||I-76 / Penna. Tpk. at Pennsylvania state line|
The Ohio Turnpike, officially the James W. Shocknessy Ohio Turnpike, is a 241.26 mi (388.27 km)-long, limited-access toll highway in the U.S. state of Ohio, serving as a primary corridor to Chicago and Pittsburgh. The road runs east–west in the northern section of the state, from the Indiana Toll Road (at the Indiana–Ohio border near Bryan) to the Pennsylvania Turnpike (at the Ohio–Pennsylvania border near Petersburg). The road is owned and maintained by the Ohio Turnpike and Infrastructure Commission (OTIC), headquartered in Berea.[a]
Built from 1949 to 1955, construction for the roadway was completed a year prior to the Interstate Highway System. The modern Ohio Turnpike is signed as three interstate numbers: I-76, I-80, and I-90.
The Ohio Turnpike picks up where the Indiana Toll Road leaves off at the Ohio-Indiana border, and carries both I-80 and I-90 to Elyria. I-90 splits off there, and the Turnpike continues with I-80 by itself to Youngstown. At Youngstown, I-80 leaves the Turnpike and I-76 enters it. The Turnpike then continues, as I-76, to the Pennsylvania border, where the road becomes the Pennsylvania Turnpike.
|This section may require copy-editing for incorporating information from the signed 2013 transportation budget bill. (April 2013)|
The Ohio General Assembly authorized the formation of the Ohio Turnpike Commission in 1949. The turnpike is named after the first chairman of the commission, James W. Shocknessy. Construction for the road cost $326 million and was recorded the biggest project in state history, with 10,000 employees, more than 2,300 bulldozers, graders, loaders and other machines over a 38-month period.
On December 1, 1954, the first 22-mile (35 km) stretch (the portion lying east of SR 18) opened near the present-day exit 218 for I-76 and I-80. Several motorists attended a dedication ceremony, with over 1,000 people joining a caravan, following a snow plow and a patrol cruiser, to become the first to drive the turnpike. The remaining section from exit 218 west to Indiana opened on October 1, 1955. A connecting ramp near the Indiana state line closed on August 16, 1956, the day before the Indiana Toll Road was opened; this ramp had been used to allow traffic access to US 20 to cross into Indiana.
Originally, the turnpike offered 18 access points. Additional access points have since been provided, bringing the total number, including the Westgate and Eastgate toll barriers, to 31. Not included in this count is the unnumbered interchange at SR 49, which opened on December 29, 1992. There are no ramp tolls at this interchange; the Westgate toll barrier was, at the same time, moved from its previous location near the Indiana state line to its current location, which is east of SR 49.
In 1996, the turnpike began a project to add one lane in each direction from Toledo to Youngstown. The project, using financing from increased tolls, was originally projected to be finished in 2005, but in 2009 there were still short stretches without the added lanes—one at the west end of the project in Lucas and Wood counties, and the other in Summit County at exit 180 (SR 8); construction on the former stretch is to begin construction in 2012, while the latter is to begin in 2011 and be completed in 2012.
In 1998, the Ohio Turnpike Commission began phasing in distance-based exit numbers; the sequential numbering system was retired in September 2002. In 2009, the Ohio Turnpike Commission began accepting E-ZPass for toll payment at all plazas, and added gates to toll lanes to prevent motorists from evading tolls.
Ken Blackwell, the defeated candidate in the 2006 Ohio governor's race, had announced a plan for privatizing the turnpike, similar to plans enacted in Illinois and Indiana. In 2010 and 2011, Governor John Kasich stated that he would consider a turnpike lease, but only during a prosperous economic period. In August 2011, Kasich stated his intention to create a task force to produce a leasing plan and also considered the option of reassigning the maintenance of the highway to the Ohio Department of Transportation. Ultimately he decided against both, instead proposing to issue more debt under the renamed Ohio Turnpike and Infrastructure Commission, with cash tolls raised annually over a ten-year period to compensate.
The Ohio Turnpike has had service plazas since its inception. Service plazas differ from typical freeway rest areas in that they offer amenities such as 24-hour food and fuel service; motorists do not have to pass through toll booths to re-fuel, use the restroom, or eat.
In 1998, The Ohio Turnpike Commission began modernizing its service plazas, first demolishing the original plazas and then reconstructing them from the ground up. In addition to modern restrooms, the new plazas offer several fast food choices, which vary between the plazas. They also include ATMs, gift shops, travel information counters, Wi-Fi internet access, and facilities for truck drivers, including shower facilities, lounge, and laundry areas. Sunoco fueling stations are provided at all service plazas along the Ohio Turnpike.; the company signed a new contract to operate all 16 plazas on the Ohio Turnpike beginning in 2012. Facilities for overnight RV campers are provided at the service plazas located at mile markers 20, 76, 139, and 197.
Service plazas are located in pairs (one for each side of the turnpike) near mile markers 20, 49, 76, 100, 139, 170, 197, and 237. Presently, the service plazas located at mile marker 49 have not been modernized, but they are closed for reconstruction.
The service plazas located in Lucas County west of Toledo at mile marker 49 are the least utilized. The Ohio Turnpike Commission envisions the eventual demolition of these service plazas, and construction of new plazas between mile markers 20 and 49; the new facility will most likely be located in Fulton County and is expected to open after 2012. Due to the lack of a municipal water/sewer system, the service plazas located near mile marker 20 in Williams County were demolished in 2006, though they were eventually rebuilt and reopened on June 29, 2011. The plazas at mile 237 are currently closed for reconstruction, and are expected to reopen in 2013.
Since the turnpike opened, the Ohio Turnpike Commission has contracted with the Ohio State Highway Patrol (District 10) to provide law enforcement, as well as assistance to disabled or stranded motorists. The Patrol is the only law enforcement agency with jurisdiction on the turnpike. It monitors Citizen's Band channel 9 for distress calls.
Prior to the National Maximum Speed Limit effective in January 1974, the speed limit on the Ohio turnpike and interstates was 70 miles per hour (110 km/h) for passenger cars. The speed limit was subsequently reduced to 55 miles per hour (89 km/h) from 1974 until 1987 when Congress allowed states to raise the speed limit to 65 miles per hour (105 km/h).
In 2008, legislation was introduced to raise the speed limit to 70 miles per hour (110 km/h); however, it died in the legislature. The National Motorists Association provides support for legislative attempts to increase legal speed limits to reflect actual travel speeds on highways.
On December 20, 2010, the Ohio Turnpike Commission voted to increase the speed limit of the Ohio Turnpike to 70 miles per hour (110 km/h).[dubious ] Despite opposition from the Ohio Trucking Association and the Ohio Motorists Association, the increase was approved by the Commission by a vote of 4–1 and went into effect on April 1, 2011.
In September 2004, the speed limit for heavy trucks was raised to 65 mph (105 km/h), creating a uniform speed limit for all traffic. For years, trucks had avoided the turnpike due to large toll increases in the 1990s, and because they could travel for free at the same speed on parallel highways such as SR 2 and US 20. Truck traffic clogged the downtown shopping areas of US 20 towns such as Bellevue and Clyde, essentially driving away customers who did not want to deal with the truck traffic; shopkeepers begged the state for relief for years.
Eventually, after prodding by Governor Bob Taft, the Ohio Turnpike Commission lowered truck tolls and implemented the uniform 65 mph (105 km/h) speed limit on September 8, 2004.[dubious ] Truck traffic levels on the turnpike are estimated to be 20% higher since the change was made. The turnpike's 65 mph (105 km/h) truck speed limit was unique in Ohio, as a 55 mph (89 km/h) statutory speed limit applied to trucks on every other highway in the state until the passage of House Bill Number 2 in 2009.
Tolls are based upon the distance traveled, as well as the type and weight of vehicle driven. As of January 2013[update], the toll for a typical non-commercial passenger vehicle to travel the entire turnpike is $11.25 for E-ZPass holders and $16.50 for non E-ZPass holders.
The Ohio Turnpike Commission had been hesitant to deploy an electronic tolling system, citing an apparent lack of commuter travel as well as significant implementation expenses. In December 2006, the commission indicated their intention to move forward with the implementation of an E-ZPass-compatible system as a "customer convenience". The system was activated on October 1, 2009. In 2009, the turnpike became the first publicly owned toll facility in the U.S.—and the second overall—to allow users to pay tolls with a debit or credit card.
In April 2008, governor Ted Strickland and legislative leaders announced a planned stimulus package that would redistribute Turnpike tolls to road projects throughout the state. On May 23, the Ohio Senate Finance Committee voted to pass a new version of the package which would not involve tolls collected.
|County||Location||Mile||km||Old exit||New exit||Destinations||Notes|
|Indiana–Ohio state line
||0.0||0.0||I-80 / I-90 / Ind. Toll Rd. west||Continuation into Indiana|
||Northwest Township||2.0||3.2||—||—||SR 49||Diamond interchange with no ramp tolls, opened December 29, 1992|
|2.7||4.3||Westgate Toll Barrier|
|Holiday City||13.5||21.7||2||13||SR 15 – Bryan, Montpelier|
||Franklin Township||20.8||33.5||Indian Meadow Service Plaza (westbound)
Tiffin River Service Plaza (eastbound)
|25.5||41.0||2A||25||SR 66 – Archbold, Fayette||Opened November 13, 1998|
|Dover Township||34.9||56.2||3||34||SR 108 – Wauseon|
|Pike Township||39.8||64.1||3B||39||SR 109 – Delta, Lyons||Opened December 20, 1996|
||Monclova Township||49.0||78.9||Oak Openings Service Plaza (westbound)
Fallen Timbers Service Plaza (eastbound)
Closed for reconstruction
|52.6||84.7||3A||52||SR 2 – Swanton, Toledo Airport||Opened November 21, 1991|
|Maumee||59.5||95.8||4||59||US 20 to I-475 / US 23 – Maumee, Toledo, Ann Arbor|
||Perrysburg||64.9||104.4||4A||64||I-75 – Toledo, Dayton||Opened December 4, 1991|
|Lake Township||71.7||115.4||5||71||I-280 north / SR 420 south – Toledo, Detroit, Stony Ridge|
||Harris Township||76.9||123.8||Blue Heron Service Plaza (westbound)
Wyandot Service Plaza (eastbound)
|81.8||131.6||5A||81||SR 51 – Elmore, Woodville, Gibsonburg||Opened February 6, 1997|
||Sandusky Township||91.6||147.4||6||91||SR 53 – Fremont, Port Clinton|
|100.0||160.9||Erie Islands Service Plaza (westbound)
Commodore Perry Service Plaza (eastbound)
||Groton Township||110.2||177.3||6A||110||SR 4 – Sandusky, Bucyrus||Opened December 15, 1994|
|Milan Township||118.5||190.7||7||118||US 250 – Sandusky, Norwalk|
||Brownhelm Township||135.9||218.7||7A||135||Baumhart Road – Vermilion||Opened December 13, 1995|
|Amherst Township||139.5||224.5||Middle Ridge Service Plaza (westbound)
Vermillion Valley Service Plaza (eastbound)
|140.6||226.3||7B||140||SR 58 – Amherst, Oberlin||Opened November 30, 2004|
|Elyria Township||142.8||229.8||8A||142||I-90 east / SR 2 east – Cleveland||Eastbound exit and westbound entrance; eastern end of the I-90 concurrency|
|Elyria||145.5||234.2||8||145||SR 57 – Lorain, Elyria|
|North Ridgeville||151.8||244.3||9A||151||I-480 east – North Ridgeville, Cleveland||Eastbound exit and westbound entrance|
|152.2||244.9||9||152||To SR 10 – North Ridgeville, North Olmsted, Fairview Park, Cleveland|
||Strongsville||161.8||260.4||10||161||I-71 / US 42 – Strongsville, Middleburg Heights, Cleveland|
|170.1||273.7||Great Lakes Service Plaza (westbound)
Towpath Service Plaza (eastbound)
||Richfield||173.2||278.7||11||173||I-77 / SR 21 – Cleveland, Akron||Direct access to I-77 opened December 3, 2001|
|Boston Heights||180.3||290.2||12||180||SR 8 – Akron|
||Streetsboro||187.2||301.3||13||187||I-480 west / SR 14 – Streetsboro|
|Shalersville Township||193.9||312.1||13A||193||SR 44 – Ravenna||Opened December 1, 1994|
|197.0||317.0||Portage Service Plaza (westbound)
Brady's Leap Service Plaza (eastbound)
||Braceville Township||209.2||336.7||14||209||SR 5 – Warren|
|Lordstown||215.0||346.0||14A||215||Ellsworth–Bailey Road – Lordstown West||Eastbound exit and westbound entrance; opened June 1993|
|216.4||348.3||14B||216||Hallock–Young Road – Lordstown East||Westbound exit and eastbound entrance|
||North Jackson||218.7||352.0||15||218||I-76 west / I-80 east / CR 18 – Niles, Youngstown||Eastern end of I-80 concurrency and western end of I-76 concurrency; turnpike transfers from I-80 to I-76|
|Beaver Township||232.9||374.8||16||232||SR 7 – Youngstown|
|234.1||376.7||16A||234||I-680 north – Youngstown, Poland||Westbound exit and eastbound entrance|
|237.2||381.7||Mahoning Valley Service Plaza (westbound)
Glacier Hills Service Plaza (eastbound)
|Springfield Township||239.1||384.8||Eastgate Toll Barrier|
|Ohio–Pennsylvania state line
||241.3||388.3||I-76 / Penna. Tpk. east||Continuation east into Pennsylvania|
|1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi
- Goodman, Rebecca; Brunsman, Barrett J. (2005). This Day in Ohio History. Cincinnati, OH: Emmis Books. ISBN 1-57860-191-6.[page needed]
- Ohio General Assembly (July 1, 2013). "5537.02 Ohio turnpike and infrastructure commission". Ohio Revised Code. Retrieved September 2, 2013.
- Staff. "History: A Dream Realized...". Ohio Turnpike Commission. Retrieved August 11, 2009.
- Staff. "Chapter 3: Giant Strides, 1946–1964". The First 60 Years, A History of Service. Ohio State Highway Patrol. Archived from the original on March 2, 2008. Retrieved July 10, 2007.
- "Exit on Ohio Turnpike Closed". The Pittsburgh Press. August 16, 1956. p. 7. Retrieved August 27, 2012.
- U.S. Geological Survey (1990) (PDF). Clear Lake, Ind.–Ohio–Mich. (Map). 1:24,000. 7.5 minute (Topographic). http://ims.er.usgs.gov/gda_services/download?item_id=5284968&quad=Clear%20Lake&state=IN&grid=7.5X7.5&series=Map%20GeoPDF. Retrieved August 27, 2012.
- Lewis, Herb (December 30, 1992). "Turnpike Exchange near Edon Is Officially Opened". The Bryan Times. Retrieved August 26, 2012.
- Harvey, Hank (February 28, 1993). "Turnpike Commission May Branch Out". The Blade (Toledo, OH). Retrieved August 26, 2012.
- Farkas, Karen (August 16, 2010). "Ohio Turnpike To Add Third Lane in Summit County". The Plain Dealer (Cleveland, OH). Retrieved August 17, 2010.
- Theis, Sandy (June 4, 2006). "Leasing Turnpike: A Road to Riches? Blackwell Says His Plan Could Net Millions for Cities, but Others Urge Caution". The Plain Dealer (Cleveland, OH). Retrieved June 18, 2008.
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- Feran, Tom (January 19, 2011). "Gov. John Kasich Hasn't Dismissed Privatizing Ohio Turnpike, if the Numbers Are Right". PolitiFact Ohio. Retrieved January 24, 2011.
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- Maykuth, Andrew (December 24, 2010). "Sunoco Adding Sales Outlets in Ohio, N.Y.". Philadelphia Inquirer. Retrieved March 5, 2012.
- Staff. "Service Plazas". Ohio Turnpike Commission. Retrieved August 7, 2011.
- Staff (May 16, 2005). "Resolution Approving the Acquisition of Right-of-Way for Construction of Service Plaza Facilities in Fulton County". Ohio Turnpike Commission. Archived from the original on September 27, 2011. Retrieved August 7, 2011.
- Staff (August 16, 2005). "Williams County Turnpike Plazas Will Be Closed". Archived from the original on September 30, 2007. Retrieved August 7, 2011.
- Farkas, Karen (November 2, 2009). "Whatever Happened to ...?: Whatever Happened to Plans To Add a Third Lane to the Ohio Turnpike and Replace the Eight Sets of Service Plazas?". The Plain Dealer (Cleveland, OH). Retrieved November 3, 2009.
- Staff (August 15, 2005). "Resolution Authorizing the Closure of Indian Meadow and Tiffin River Service Plazas at Milepost 20.8 in Williams County". Ohio Turnpike Commission. Archived from the original on M ay 24, 2006. Retrieved August 7, 2011.
- Breckenridge, Tom (August 18, 2012). "Ohio Turnpike Says Problems with Contractor Delay New Service Plazas". The Plain Dealer. Retrieved August 18, 2012.
- "History of Ohio’s Speed Limit Laws". Ohio Insurance Institute. Retrieved May 30, 2013.
- Staff (December 20, 2010). "Resolution Providing for a Uniform Speed Limit of 70 MPH for the Entire Ohio Turnpike" (PDF). Ohio Turnpike Commission. Retrieved December 20, 2010.
- Ewinger, James (December 20, 2010). "Ohio Turnpike Commission Votes To Raise Toll Road's Speed Limit to 70 mph". The Plain Dealer (Cleveland, OH). Retrieved December 20, 2010.
- Breckenridge, Tom (April 1, 2011). "Ohio Turnpike Drivers Can Press the Pedal a Bit More as Speed Limit Climbs to 70 mph". The Plain Dealer (Cleveland, OH). Retrieved April 2, 2011.
- Staff (August 23, 2004). "Resolution Providing for a Uniform Speed Limit for the Entire Ohio Turnpike". Ohio Turnpike Commission. Archived from the original on September 27, 2007. Retrieved August 7, 2011.
- Provance, Jim (April 1, 2009). "Speed Limit To Be Raised for Truckers on Interstate Roads". The Blade (Toledo, OH). Retrieved May 18, 2009.
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- Staff. "Non E-ZPass Fare—Current". Ohio Turnpike Commission. Retrieved August 7, 2011.
- Staff. "E-ZPass Frequently Asked Questions". Ohio Turnpike Commission. Retrieved August 7, 2011.
- Farkas, Karen (October 2, 2009). "E-ZPass Debut Has Bugs, but Turnpike Officials Are on the Case". The Plain Dealer (Cleveland, OH). Retrieved October 2, 2009.
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- Marshall, Aaron (April 3, 2008). "Ohio Tries To Retain Top Talent in College; Internship Plan Raids Tobacco, Turnpike Funds". The Plain Dealer (Cleveland, OH). Retrieved April 8, 2008.
- Hollander, Sarah; Marshall, Aaron (April 5, 2008). "Turnpike Officials Unsure What Revenue Loss Will Mean". The Plain Dealer (Cleveland, OH). Retrieved April 8, 2008.
- Marshall, Aaron (May 23, 2008). "State Stimulus Package Won't Include Turnpike Funds". The Plain Dealer (Cleveland, OH). Retrieved May 28, 2008.
- Ohio Department of Transportation (2007). Ohio Official Transportation Map (Map). Cartography by ODOT.
- DeLorme (2007). Street Atlas USA (Map).
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- Farkas, Karen (June 21, 2009). "Bari Lambert's Job as a Toll Collector on the Ohio Turnpike's Lordstown Plant Exit Has Turned Very Quiet". The Plain Dealer (Cleveland, OH). Retrieved June 22, 2009.
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