A good transportation network has allowed Ohio to take advantage of its
competitive location amid the nation’s manufacturing and agricultural
heartland. The very factors which have allowed Ohio to capitalize on its
logistical advantage, now however, are straining Ohio’s transportation
network and creating the need for Ohio to upgrade its highways to meet
21st century demands.
- Although only 35th in geographic size, Ohio has the nation’s 10th
largest highway network, the fifth highest volume of traffic, the
fourth largest interstate network and the nation’s second largest
inventory of bridges.
- More than 60 percent of all freight moved in Ohio moves by truck.
More than $1.3 trillion in freight moves on Ohio’s highways, the
third highest value of freight moved in any state.
- Ohio’s highways and railroads are among the most heavily used in
the country. Mid-way between Chicago and the East Coast, Ohio is a
one-day drive from 50 percent of North America’s population and 70
percent of North America’s manufacturing capacity.
- Ohio’s economy depends on freight. Ohio is a huge manufacturing
state with the sixth largest economy in the United States and is
second in manufactured exports. Exports and international trade are a
growing component of Ohio’s trade. Also, Just in Time inventory is
possible because of the combination of computerized inventory
processes and an extensive and congestion-free highway network.
America’s capitalization on Just in Time inventory in the past 10
years has caused the cost of logistics to fall from 16 percent of the
Gross Domestic Product in 1978 to only 10 percent today. Much of
America’s productivity gain in recent years has been attributable to
- These trends caused truck miles traveled in Ohio to grow 89 percent
in the past 25 years. They are expected to grow 60 percent in the next
20 years. Overall traffic grew 80 percent.
- Every urban interstate highway mile in Ohio carries at least 15,000
trucks daily and many carry 20,000. Overall traffic volumes exceed
100,000 vehicles daily. This is the case in Cincinnati, Dayton,
Toledo, Columbus and Cleveland. By 2020, 30,000 trucks and 120,000
cars a day will be common on Ohio’s urban interstates.
- Accidents and congestion have risen commensurately. Forty-five
percent of all freeway accidents occur on 12 percent of the freeway
system. Urban freeways in Dayton, Cincinnati and Toledo average
between 80 and 100 accidents per year per mile. I-70 in downtown
Columbus has 274 accidents per mile per year.
- Rural corridors also are straining under current volumes. More than
300 miles of Ohio’s two-lane rural highway network carries more than
30 percent of its total volume as truck traffic. Accidents on these
routes are elevated, and some have fatality rates twice the statewide
February 12, 2003