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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 improved logistics.
  • 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 average.


February 12, 2003

Ohio Department of Transportation
Ted Strickland, Governor  |  James G. Beasley, P.E., P.S., Director
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This Page Updated: 2/12/2003 2:52:55 PM