Ohio Department of Transportation

Attorney General Mike DeWine made the settlement announcement during a news conference Wednesday. Ohio Dept. of Transportation Director Jerry Wray was at his side.
Jo Ingles / Ohio Public Radio

Many of Ohio’s cities and townships will soon be getting a check from a court settlement with companies that provide road salt.

Under the agreement, the Morton and Cargill companies will pay a combined $11.5 million. Most of the money will be distributed to local governments that Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine says spent too much on road salt for about a decade.

A sign for discounted E85 ethanol fuel. A requirement for alternative fuels in state vehicles has been removed from the Ohio Department of Transportation budget. gas cars
Sweeter Alternative / Flickr/Creative Commons

The Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) budget signed last week includes a change for the state’s vehicle fleet: the budget cuts out a requirement on alternative fuels that had been in place for most of a decade.

The ODOT budget eliminates the 2006 requirement to use a certain amount of ethanol and biodiesel in state vehicles. It’s about time, says Greg Lawson with the conservative think tank the Buckeye Institute.

Two more cities are challenging an Ohio traffic camera law they say would restrict cities' use of the cameras and are asking county courts to find the law unconstitutional.

Dayton and Springfield sued the state Wednesday, saying the law violates their right to home rule authority to set their own policies and regulations. Akron and Toledo earlier filed similar lawsuits.

snow, snow plow, transportation
Brian Bull, WCPN

Polar vortexes, lengthy cold snaps, blasting windchills…essentially it’s been a winter wonderland turned arctic nightmare for many in Ohio, especially motorists.

ODOT spokesman Steve Faulkner says he’s been tracking his department’s efforts to keep highways and streets clear and safe since the first snow event in mid-October.  Flash-forward to late March, and what do state road crews have to show for it?

A spokesman says the Ohio Department of Transportation may end up using nearly twice as much road salt this season as it typically does for an average winter.

Spokesman Steve Faulkner says the agency uses 630 thousand tons of salt in an average winter. It had nearly that much on hand in October, before what has been an unusually cold, snowy season.

The Ohio Department of Transportation says some construction work will be suspended over the Thanksgiving holiday, but drivers may still come across many work zone restrictions.

Among the construction areas is a widening project along Interstate 71 in parts of Delaware and Morrow counties. Transportation officials say they opened a third lane in the area to ease southbound congestion during the holidays for drivers from Cleveland to Columbus.

Drivers can legally zip along some rural interstate highways more quickly as a new 70 mph speed limit takes effect along some sections of roadway around Ohio.

The change beginning Monday raises the speed limit in some areas from 65 mph to 70 mph.

The Ohio Department of Transportation has said the speed limit is increasing on more than 570 miles of interstate highway. The increase applies to parts of Interstates 70, 71, 75, 76, 77 and 90. It doesn't cover sections of those roads in major metropolitan areas and a few smaller cities along the way.

The Ohio Department of Transportation is awarding $7.2 million for projects to help children safely walk or bike to school.

The grants announced this week in the Safe Routes to School Program go to 58 projects. The money will help with constructing or improving crosswalks and sidewalks and will support efforts to educate children about being safe on the way to school.

Ohio first lady Karen Kasich says the projects encourage walking or biking to school and can help cut pollution and traffic.

The Ohio Department of Transportation has revealed which sections of rural interstate highway will have a higher speed limit of 70 mph instead of 65 mph starting July 1.

The department said Tuesday that the limit will increase on more than 570 miles of interstate highway. The increase applies to parts of Interstates 70, 71, 75, 76, 77 and 90 but doesn't include sections of those roads in major metropolitan areas and a few smaller cities along the way.

More than 300 signs will be made to alert drivers about the new limits.