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ODOT Corner: Transportation Budget Bill

ODOT has offered to provide an occasional article for the ACEC Ohio e-newsletter, this month Director Jerry Wray offers his insight on the Transportation Budget (House Bill 26 ).Director Jerry Wray


ODOT is introducing new traffic management techniques to enhance traffic flow on state highways and keep traffic moving during rush hour peaks. Recent tests of these practices – variable speed limits and using highway shoulders as an additional driving lane – have shown promising results in other states. Updates to traffic laws, proposed in this budget, would enhance the state’s ability to safely apply these techniques on other appropriate routes across Ohio’s highway network.

This budget allows ODOT to continue to innovate. Ohio is currently working on two pilot fiber corridors for automated and connected vehicle use.  The instillation of this high-capacity fiber optic cable will instantaneously link researchers and traffic monitors with data from embedded and wireless sensors installed along the roadway.  Data collected by the sensors will also provide more frequent and accurate traffic counts, weather and surface condition monitoring, and incident management improvements.

Development of the Smart Mobility Corridor, a 35-mile stretch of four-lane, limited access highway between Dublin and East Liberty, northwest of Columbus is scheduled to begin in the summer.  When complete, the Smart Mobility Corridor will allow the premier automotive testing, research and manufacturing facilities to test smart transportation technologies on a highway that carries up to 50,000 vehicles per day through rural and urban settings in a full range of weather conditions.

Gov. Kasich’s new transportation budget also includes funding for two additional smart highway projects – on the Interstate 270 beltway in Columbus and Interstate 90 in northern Ohio.  These smart highways, as well as the Ohio Turnpike, will provide state-of-the-art sites for innovators to test and refine jobs-creating technologies.  An expanding network of smart highways will give Ohioans a safer, better driving experience and offer businesses reduced transportation costs, increased operating efficiencies and faster access to markets.

Jerry Wray is the Director of the Ohio Department of Transportation see his budget testimony here. House Bill 26 is currently being heard by the Ohio House of Representatives.

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