Ohio Department of Transportation map shows roads where 70 mph will be legal July 1

by MARC KOVAC | CAPITAL BUREAU CHIEF Published:

Columbus -- Speedsters, mark your calendars: July 1 is the day you can legally drive 70 mph on much of the state's Interstate highway system, thanks to a change in state law OK'd earlier this year and set to take effect this summer.

A map released May 21 by the Ohio Department of Transportation pinpoints the stretches of roadway "outside urbanized areas" where speeds will be bumped up from 65 mph.

For example, travelers leaving areas outside of Dayton, Cincinnati and Cleveland and heading toward Columbus will be allowed to accelerate a little more.

So will those heading from Toledo to Lima, Austintown to Akron and Bolivar to Marietta.

According to ODOT, the change affects some 570 miles of the state's 1,332 miles of interstate highway.

The speed limit along the Ohio Turnpike is already set at 70. More than 30 other states have speed limits of 70 mph or higher, including neighboring Indiana, Michigan, Kentucky and West Virginia.

ODOT will be installing 300-plus new signs noting the increased speed limit, as well as "Reduced Speed Ahead" signage noting where limits drop.

The speed limit increase was included in the biennial budgets for ODOT and several other state agencies that was passed by lawmakers and signed into law by Gov. John Kasich in April.

That legislation also included the governor's much-touted plan to leverage $3 billion for road and bridge repairs using future turnpike tolls.

Marc Kovac is the Dix Capital Bureau Chief. Email him at mkovac@dixcom.com or on Twitter at OhioCapitalBlog.

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