|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 North Jackson
I‑90 from Indiana state line to near Elyria
I‑76 from North Jackson to Pennsylvania state line
|West end:||I-80 / I-90 / Indiana Toll Road at Indiana state line|
| I‑75 in Perrysburg
I‑90 near Elyria
I‑480 in North Ridgeville
I‑71 in Strongsville
I‑77 in Richfield
I‑480 in Streetsboro
I‑76 / I‑80 in North Jackson
I‑680 in North Jackson
|East end:||I-76 / Penna Turnpike at Pennsylvania state line|
The Ohio Turnpike, officially the James W. Shocknessy Ohio Turnpike, is a 241.26-mile-long (388.27 km), 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|This section is outdated. (July 2014)|
In 1947 a bill was introduced in the Ohio General Assembly authorizing a privately financed roadway. Originally consisting of a system of five highways, the turnpike was reduced to one when the other four were made redundant by the Federal Aid Highway Act of 1956. 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 is not expected to be completed until the end of the 2014 construction season.
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 (ODOT). 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 fuel 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, 76, 100, 139, 170, 197, and 237. The service plazas located at mile marker 49 were demolished in 2011 and there are no plans to rebuild.
The service plazas located in Lucas County west of Toledo at mile marker 49 were the least utilized. The Ohio Turnpike Commission eventually demolished them, and plans 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 reopened in 2013.
Since the turnpike opened, the Ohio Turnpike Commission has contracted with the Ohio State Highway Patrol (OSHP) 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.
The Ohio Turnpike opened on October 1, 1955, with a 65 mph (105 km/h) limit for cars and 55 mph (89 km/h) limit for trucks. The automobile speed limit was increased on September 30, 1963, in concert with other Ohio rural Interstates to 70 mph (110 km/h). Due to the National Maximum Speed Law, a 55 mph speed limit took effect in 1974 for all vehicles. The 55 mph limit remained until 1987 when the Ohio General Assembly adopted the federally permitted 65 mph maximum speed limit, but for automobiles only.
Governor Taft asked the Ohio Turnpike Commission to work with ODOT and the OSHP to formulate a plan to encourage truck traffic to use the turnpike instead of parallel highways, improving the safety of those other roadways. The three organizations created a plan with three points. The truck speed limit was increased from 55 to 65 mph (89 to 105 km/h) for consistency with the automobile limits. Enforcement of truck weight and speed limits on parallel highways was increased, and truck toll rates were lowered in a trial. The speed limit increase took effect on September 8, 2004.
The Ohio Turnpike has had uniform limits for all vehicles since 2004. On December 20, 2010, the Ohio Turnpike Commission voted to increase the speed limit of the Ohio Turnpike to 70 mph. Despite opposition from the Ohio Trucking Association, the increase was approved by the Commission by a vote of 4–1 and went into effect on April 1, 2011.
Tolls are based upon the distance traveled, as well as the height and axle-count of vehicle driven. As of January 2014[update], the toll for a typical non-commercial passenger vehicle to travel the entire turnpike is $11.50 for E-ZPass holders and $17.00 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||mi||km||Old exit||New exit||Destinations||Notes|
|Williams||Northwest Township||0.0||0.0||I-80 west / I-90 west / Indiana Toll Road west – Chicago||Continuation into Indiana|
|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|
|Brady Township||20.8||33.5||Indian Meadow Service Plaza (westbound)
Tiffin River Service Plaza (eastbound)
|Fulton||Franklin Township||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|
|Lucas||Monclova Township||49.0||78.9||Oak Openings Service Plaza (westbound)
Fallen Timbers Service Plaza (eastbound)
Demolished in 2011; no plans to rebuild
|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|
|Wood||Perrysburg||64.9||104.4||4A||64||I‑75 – Toledo, Dayton||Opened December 4, 1991; I-75 exit 208|
|Lake Township||71.7||115.4||5||71||I‑280 north / SR 420 south – Toledo, Detroit, Stony Ridge||I-280 exit 1A|
|Ottawa||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||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)
|Erie||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|
|Lorain||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|
|Cuyahoga||Strongsville||161.8||260.4||10||161||I‑71 / US 42 – Strongsville, Columbus, Cleveland|
|Broadview Heights||170.1||273.7||Great Lakes Service Plaza (westbound)
Towpath Service Plaza (eastbound)
|Summit||Richfield||173.2||278.7||11||173||I‑77 / SR 21 – Akron, Cleveland||Direct access to I-77 opened December 3, 2001|
|Boston Heights||180.3||290.2||12||180||SR 8 – Akron|
|Portage||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)
|Trumbull||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|
|Mahoning||North Jackson||218.7||352.0||15||218|| I‑76 west – Akron
I‑80 east – 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|
|241.3||388.3||I-76 / Penna Turnpike east – Pittsburgh||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]
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- 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.
- United States Geological Survey (1990). Clear Lake, Ind.–Ohio–Mich. (PDF) (Topographic map). 1:24,000. 7.5 minute. Reston, VA: United States Geological Survey. Retrieved August 27, 2012.
- Lewis, Herb (December 30, 1992). "Turnpike Exchange near Edon Is Officially Opened". The Bryan Times. Retrieved August 26, 2012.
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- 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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- Staff (August 16, 2005). "Williams County Turnpike Plazas Will Be Closed". Archived from the original on September 30, 2007. Retrieved August 7, 2011.
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- 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 May 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.
- Ohio Turnpike Commission CFO/Comptroller’s Office and the Office of Public Affairs & Marketing (March 16, 2006). "Comprehensive Annual Financial Report for the Year Ended December 31, 2005" (PDF). Berea: Ohio Turnpike Commission. p. 22. Archived from the original (PDF) on May 29, 2014. Retrieved May 29, 2014.
- Ohio Turnpike Commission CFO/Comptroller’s Office and the Office of Public Affairs & Marketing (March 16, 2006). "Comprehensive Annual Financial Report for the Year Ended December 31, 2005" (PDF). Berea: Ohio Turnpike Commission. p. 28. Archived from the original (PDF) on May 29, 2014. Retrieved May 29, 2014.
- 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. "E-ZPass Fare—Current". Ohio Turnpike Commission. Retrieved April 13, 2014.
- Staff. "Non E-ZPass Fare—Current". Ohio Turnpike Commission. Retrieved April 13, 2014.
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- 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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