Feb. 15, 1905
The Ohio Department of Highways
begins operations. The four-man office had a $10,000 annual budget and was
created to study the state’s roads and the science of road construction.
July 7 – Sept. 6, 1919
A United States military convoy
makes a 62-day journey from Washington, D.C. to the Presidio Army Base in
California, with Lieutenant Dwight D. Eisenhower serving as an observer. The
delays to the convoy caused by inferior roads and bridges made an impression on
the young army officer.
The Department of Highways
trains and organizes the first Ohio Highway Patrol to help prevent rising
fatalities due to auto accidents. The first patrolmen assume their duties before
the end of the year.
General Dwight D. Eisenhower
sees the advantages of the “Reich-autobahn” or “National Auto Road” in Germany
at the end of World War II.
The Ohio Department of Highways has a record construction year, awarding 422
contracts and spending $38 million on new construction and $4 million on
Jan. 7, 1954
President Dwight D. Eisenhower
names attaining a safe and adequate highway system a priority in his State of
the Union Address.
June 29, 1956
President Eisenhower signs the
Federal Aid Highway Act into law, designating highways for each state to build
with federal assistance to create a system of highways 41,000 miles long.
The Ohio Assembly passes a bill
making the state speed limit 60 mph and increases the power of the state highway
department to purchase land for new highways.
Ohio’s Department of Highways
officially begins construction of the 1,500 miles of the interstate system
designated for the state in the Federal Aid Highway Act.
Ohio is ahead of most other
states in creating interstate highways — spending more on roadway construction
than New York or California.
Ohio remains ahead of schedule
in its interstate construction program with 522 miles of interstates open to the
Ohio has 684 miles of
Federal funds are made available
for highway beautification projects. The Ohio Department of Highways takes a
leading role in this national initiative, creating a new Design Services
Division to oversee rest areas and landscaping along thousands of miles of state
and interstate roadways in Ohio.
President Richard Nixon signs a
new Federal Aid Highway Act into law, re-authorizing more than $4 billion
dollars to the highway fund and adding more than 1,400 miles to the system.
Ohio has more than 1,000 miles
of its planned interstate open.
Ohio has constructed all but 167
miles of its interstate highways.
Following a national trend to
consolidate different modes of transportation under one agency, the Ohio
Department of Highways officially becomes the Ohio Department of Transportation
Interstate 270 in Columbus, Ohio
Interstate 70 is completed
through Ohio, making it the state’s major east/west corridor.
Ohio must plan to expand its
1960s transportation system to meet 21st century needs. Ohio’s interstate
highways are approaching their 50th anniversary and are greatly in need of
expansion and reconstruction. Truck traffic alone has grown 90 percent in the
last 25 years and will grow in Ohio by at least another 60 percent in the next
ODOT begins the Cleveland
Innerbelt Study to develop a comprehensive strategy to rebuild portions of
Interstate 71, Interstate 77 and Interstate 90 into downtown Cleveland. Of
primary importance to the city, these roadways have nearly reached the end of
their designed lives and must be systematically replaced.
Work begins on the Interstate
280 Veterans’ Glass City Skyway Bridge project in Toledo, replacing the outdated
Craig Memorial lift bridge. At a construction cost of $220 million, the
Veterans’ Glass City Skyway Bridge is the largest single construction project in
ODOT history. Web site
ODOT initiates The Interstate
75/Interstate 475 Interchange upgrade study to evaluate these existing
interstates, their safety needs and develop potential improvements to these
heavily-used roadways in the Toledo area.
ODOT begins a study on solutions
to the congestion, traffic delays and safety hazards of the Interstate
70/Interstate 71 south Innerbelt corridor in downtown Columbus. Commonly called
"the downtown split," the corridor is the site of 27 percent of all I-70/I-71
freeway accidents in Franklin County and one of the top accident and congestion
locations in the state. Web site
Aug. 5, 2003
Governor Bob Taft announces his
historic Jobs and Progress Plan – a $5 billion, 10-year investment to rebuild
Ohio’s urban interstate networks, address high-crash locations and complete the
state’s rural macro-corridors to connect rural areas.
The reconstruction and completion of a new
stretch of Columbus' Interstate 670 in 2003 represented the final link of
the interstate highway system as planned for Ohio in the 1950s.
Sept. 19, 2003
The final project of the
Interstate 670 Spring-Sandusky Interchange in Columbus opens, completing the
originally planned interstate highway system in Ohio, almost 50 years after
construction of the interstate system began.
ODOT completes the Cleveland
Innerbelt Plan of alternatives for replacing worn down interstates in downtown
Cleveland. ODOT continues its campaign to seek public opinion on how to best
approach the process. ODOT hopes to begin construction of the first phase in
ODOT begins the Thru the Valley
project to widen and reconstruct Interstate 75 in southwest Ohio to improve
safety, increase mobility and ease congestion in the area.
ODOT completes a six-month,
North Central Outerbelt study to find solutions on reducing congestion and
accidents on Interstate 270 at the interchanges of State Route 315, U.S. Route
23 and Interstate 71 on Columbus’ north side. The interchanges serve between 10
to 20 percent more traffic than they were designed to handle and experience more
than 500 accidents a year. Construction of the first phase of the North Central
Outerbelt begins in 2006.
June 14, 2004
ODOT begins the Northeast
Expressway Transformation (NExT) project – the largest project ever in central
Ohio – to rebuild the State Route 161 interchanges at Interstate 270 and Sunbury
Road, including 17 bridges, 18 ramps and five miles of highway.
September 26, 2005
ODOT partners with the Kentucky
Transportation Cabinet and begins a study to improve congestion and safety
issues on the Brent Spence Bridge and its approaches through the Greater
Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky area.
ODOT is now responsible for the
7th largest highway system in the nation. Ohio’s highways also have the 5th
greatest volume of traffic; make up the 4th largest interstate system; have the
3rd greatest value of truck freight and contain the 2nd largest inventory of