PDT Staff Writer
Several roads in the Scioto County area will see increases in speed limits. According to Kathlee Fuller, public information officer for the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) District 9, U.S. 52 from just east of the Ohio 140 interchange to just past Haverhill-Ohio Furnace Road, will increase to 70 miles per hour. From Haverhill-Ohio Furnace Road to the Lawrence County line will go to 60 miles per hour. That 60 miles per hour speed limit on U.S. 52 will extend from the Lawrence County line toward Coal Grove and Ohio 243.
“That’s going to be the big change on the 52 corridor,” Fuller said. “U.S. 23 will have some changes there as well.”
Fuller said U.S. 23 from the intersection of 348/728 in Lucasville to the Pike County line will increase to 60 miles per hour. The 60 miles per hour speed limit will continue up to Piketon, where the speed limit through the village will be 50 miles per hour, increasing to 60 miles per hour from Piketon to Waverly.
“On Ohio 32, a lot of those 60 miles per hour speed limits are already in effect, and they have been for some time,” Fuller said.
The increases are part of an announcement that for the second time this year, speed limits on some Ohio roadways are about to go up, this time on certain sections of U.S. routes and state routes. ODOT is increasing some speed limits on 607 miles of roadway as a result of new legislation passed by the Ohio General Assembly earlier this year, which becomes effective on Sunday, Sept. 29.
The legislation increases speeds on 194 miles of rural divided highways to 60 miles per hour; 65 miles per hour on 15 miles of rural expressways without traffic control signals and 70 miles per hours on 398 miles of rural freeways.
“Raising speed limits is not something the state takes lightly,” ODOT Director Jerry Wray said. “We put much time and consideration into identifying roadways where speed limits could increase while maintaining a safe commute for Ohio motorists.”
The legislative changes require ODOT to produce 1,100 new highway signs at a cost of $114,845. Most of the signs – 580 – will be completely new and placed along the roadway, while the rest – 520 – are simply overlays that will cover a portion of an existing speed limit sign. The costs include materials and labor for producing the new signs. Most of the signs are expected to be fully installed and visible to motorists by Friday, Oct. 4.
The legislation also establishes uniformity in speed limits for both cars and truck so that each vehicle is permitted to go the same speed on any Ohio roadway. In order to comply with the legislation, speed limits on some roadways may stay the same for cars, but will increase for trucks.
Seventy-mile-per hour speed limits are not new to Ohio. On July 1, speed limits on 570 miles of rural Ohio interstates increased from 65 to 70 miles per hour for both cars and trucks. Motorists were 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.
Frank Lewis may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 252, or at firstname.lastname@example.org. For breaking news, follow Frank on Twitter @FrankLewisPDT.