ODOT

ODOT sign warning drivers to buckle up
ODOT / Ohio Department of Transportation

Travel officials are predicting this to be one of the busiest Thanksgiving weekends on the roads, and crews are taking that into account when it comes to construction projects.

AAA is predicting about 2.3 million Ohioans will be traveling further than 50 miles for the holiday. It hasn't been that busy since 2005.

And 89% of Ohio travelers will be on the roads.

The Ohio Department of Transportation's Matt Bruning said ODOT will suspend roadwork around the state.

photo of route 8 crash
OHIO DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION / OHGO.COM

Winter weather led to a major pile-up on route 8 in Hudson Tuesday. A state transportation department spokesman says a snow squall reduced visibility and led to the crash.

Matt Bruning says there’s little road crews can do in those instances. One thing he says that has been successful in Lake County is varying the speed limit in certain conditions. ODOT cut the speed limit to 30 mph on a section of I-90 during the storm Tuesday.

Crossroads of I-70 and I-71 in Columbus
KAREN KASLER / STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU

For the first time in several years, an Ohio Department of Transportation panel has voted to move forward on hundreds of millions of dollars in road construction projects, including one in Summit County. 

ODOT director Jack Marchbanks says the Transportation Review and Advisory Council, or TRAC, has nearly $400 million to spend thanks to the increase in the gas tax that took effect in July.

gas pump prices
ROSCHETZKY PHOTOGRAPHY / SHUTTERSTOCK

Ohio’s 10.5 cent gas tax increase from the state’s transportation budget has been in place for four months. And the director of the Ohio Department of Transportation says the money his agency fought lawmakers to get is already making a difference.

Jack Marchbanks says ODOT is on solid financial ground for the first time in years. The gas tax hike will bring in $820 million this fiscal year, and $3.2 billion over the next four years. But Marchbanks says the agency didn’t overshoot in asking for nearly twice that when it first proposed the gas tax increase.

A Metro RTA bus
RAYMOND WAMBSGANS / CREATIVE COMMONS

Akron Metro RTA plans to use $3 million in grant funding from the State of Ohio for bus maintenance and bus stop improvements.

The money will also help Metro RTA fund new programs, including Flex Ride. The initiative aims to connect suburban job centers with workers in need of transportation. The program is expected to launch next year.

Metro RTA Planning Director Valarie Shay, says this money allows the organization the opportunity to do more with current budgets.

Photo of the Ohio Department of Transportation's Traffic Center
/ STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU

Ohio has been at the forefront of engineering self-driving cars. The state transportation department wants to hear what citizens have to say about the future of Ohio roads and highways. It’s hosting a public meeting Monday in Akron to gather ideas for improving the state’s transportation system over the next 25 years. ODOT spokesman Matt Bruning said they will show their plans and listen to the community.

OHIO HISTORICAL ELECTION RESULTS

Here are your morning headlines for Monday, Oct. 14:

photo of a wrong way sign
Ohio Department of Transportation

The Ohio Department of Transportation is testing new technology aimed at stopping wrong-way crashes on the highway. Signs and detectors are being installed along an 18-mile stretch of Interstate 71 near Cincinnati.

ODOT spokesman Matt Bruning said the goal is to prevent wrong-way crashes.

“While they are extremely rare, they are usually very serious crashes that happen. So we know they are 40 times more likely to be deadly than other types of crashes,” he said.

The Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) wants drivers to know that a stretch of Interstate 490, between East 55th Street and I-77, will be closed later this month. The shutdown will alow for construction on the third and final phase of the $306 million Cleveland Opportunity Corridor project.

Julie Meyer, ODOT's project manager for the Opportunity Corridor, said that she knows the closure will be challenging for drivers at first, but the agency has worked with the City of Cleveland to identify detour routes. 

photo of Mike DeWine
KAREN KASLER / STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU

The Ohio Department of Transportation says there were nearly 80,000 distracted driving crashes in the state in the last five years, killing at least 268 people and injuring more than 3,000. Gov. Mike DeWine is fighting back with a panel to make some policy recommendations based on a new report.

photo of Howe Ave
/ GOOGLE EARTH

The first phase of construction on Howe  Avenue in Cuyahoga Falls starts Monday and businesses are preparing for a financial impact.

The project will replace the road near a popular business district that includes stores in Chapel Hill Plaza.

Only the eastbound lane will be closed, which means drivers can take an alternate route or use the frontage streets behind the businesses.

photo of Paul Pickett
KABIR BHATIA / WKSU

Roundabouts have been gaining popularity in Northeast Ohio over the past decade, even if the public doesn’t always consider them to be a well-rounded solution. 

A listener asked “OH Really?” to find out about the evidence that they're safer than traditional intersections. We looked into the circular logic to see if it is a better way to make traffic go-round.

photo of I-76
DOUG KERR / FLICKR

Motorists may have to change their commutes to downtown Akron as the Ohio Department of Transportation completes a construction project in a busy area.

Starting Monday, the I-76 westbound to South Broadway ramp will be closed for two weeks as ODOT ties in a new ramp.

This is Akron: City Faces Challenges Catching Up on Road Repairs

Mar 18, 2019
photo of Jamilya Maxwell
JAMILYA MAXWELL

Jamilya Maxwell stuck her hand into the dirty water of a giant pothole in Highland Square a couple of weeks ago.

 

It was wrist deep.

 

Then she kneeled and spread her arms. But the pothole — in the shape of a giant, flopping goldfish — was wider.

 

Her boyfriend, Cameron Blakey, took pictures and submitted a claim to the city for $163, the cost of a new tire on his 2011 Mercedes-Benz.

 

“I love Akron," Maxwell said. "... We’re actually looking to move to Highland Square because it’s the only artsy-fartsy area around here."

A photo of Central Ohio Transit Authority bus in the Short North district of Columbus.
ACESHOT1 / SHUTTERSTOCK.COM

Mass transit advocates in Ohio got a huge surprise in the House version of the transportation budget – funding for public transportation soared by 150 percent over Gov. Mike DeWine’s original proposal. But they’re hoping the Senate will go along with that too.

The transportation budget approved by the House cut DeWine’s gas tax increase from 18 cents to 10.7 cents per gallon. And mass transit funding went from $40 million to $100 million.

photo of Route 8
KABIR BHATIA / WKSU

Starting today, a stretch of road in Summit County – which was the scene of a major accident last week -- will have numerous lane closures over the next three years for a $58 million project.

The six-mile portion of Route 8 between Graham Road and Route 303 has not had a major resurfacing in more than a decade. One exit leads to a major shopping area, and the other to part of the Cuyahoga Valley National Park. About 50,000 cars travel the stretch of roadway every day. 

photo of Mike DeWine
ANDY CHOW / STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU

Gov. Mike DeWine will ask lawmakers this week to raise the state’s 28 cent a gallon gas tax, a recommendation from a committee he appointed. That increase would patch a hole of more than a billion dollars in the Ohio Department of Transportation’s budget. But DeWine won’t yet get specific on what he’ll ask for.

a photo of a highway under construction
KAREN KASLER / STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU

A panel of transportation experts is telling Gov. Mike DeWine that the best way to increase funding for road projects is to increase the gas tax. But their report doesn’t get specific.

The committee appointed by DeWine tallied five reasons why an increase to the gas tax is the best way to fill a funding gap. For instance, they say it’s efficient, the money can only be used for highway construction and related activities, and it’s fair because only drivers pay it.

photo of Jack Marchbanks
ANDY CHOW / STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU

Ohio’s top transportation official told state lawmakers that his agency is facing a billion-dollar shortfall, and that drivers could face serious dangers on roads and bridges. His testimony comes in advance of a report expected Friday that’s likely to recommend a gas tax increase.

Ohio Department of Transportation director Jack Marchbanks told the House Finance Committee that finding funding for new infrastructure projects and for existing maintenance isn’t a quick fix.

photo of construction on I-270 at I-670 in Columbus
KAREN KASLER / STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU

The state doesn't have any money for new road construction projects, and funding is falling short to make repairs to existing infrastructure. Gov. Mike DeWine says this is an impending crisis. And it’s looking more and more likely that the state will seek an gas tax increase to fill the hole. 

Photo of
Ohio Redevelopment Projects / FLICKR

Here are your morning headlines for Thursday, Feb. 7:

KAREN KASLER / STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU

The road ahead is rough for the Ohio Department of Transportation, according to the agency’s director. He spoke before a panel that will recommend to Gov. Mike DeWine how to fund major new road construction, telling them that money is also running out for maintenance of existing infrastructure.

ODOT Director Jack Marchbanks said 15 years of flat revenues from the gas tax, inflation in highway construction costs and huge debt payments have driven the agency into jeopardy.

“It is a grim financial situation. It is also a dangerous one,” Marchbanks said. 

KAREN KASLER / STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU

Governor Mike DeWine has appointed a committee to look into new funding sources for ODOT’s big road construction projects, since the money to make those major changes and improvements has run out.

And he wants them to work fast.

a photo of a new Ohio welcome sign
ODOT

The state department of transportation has a bigger job than usual in changing the 38 road signs at Ohio’s borders that feature the new governor’s name.   

The signs are meant to last at least 20 years, so ODOT usually just replaces the names of the governor and lieutenant governor. But ODOT spokesman Matt Bruning says because the state’s tourism logo changed in 2015, all the signs were set to be replaced.

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