October 22, 2014

Medina
Cloudy
45°F

You can go faster on I-71 starting July 1

The speed limit on most of Interstate 71 in Medina County is getting hiked to 70 mph. The Ohio Department of Transportation announced Tuesday that 570 miles of interstate got the green light for higher speeds.

The new limits, effective July 1, follow passage of House Bill 51 — the state’s transportation budget bill — which permitted speeds to increase from 65 to 70 mph on interstates that are “outside urbanized areas.”

For Interstate 71, the 70 mph limit will be posted from just north of Columbus, at the Jeremiah Morrow Bridge, to just before the Brunswick exit on Center Road.

In addition to I-71, motorists will be able to go faster on the following sections of interstates:

• Interstate 76, from just outside Akron east to just west of Youngstown.

• Interstate 77, from just outside of Canton south to the West Virginia border.

• Interstate 90, from just outside of Cleveland to the Pennsylvania border.

• Interstate 70, from the Indiana border in the west to just outside of Wheeling, W.Va., in the east, excluding Dayton, Columbus and Zanesville.

• Interstate 75, from just outside of Toledo going south until just north of Dayton, excluding Findlay and Lima.

State transportation officials pointed out that the higher speed limit is not new to Ohio: Motorists on all 241 miles of the Ohio Turnpike already can drive 70 mph.

According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, 34 other states have some posted speed limits of 70 mph or higher, including Indiana, Michigan, Kentucky and West Virginia.

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

A map of new 70 mph zones is available here.

Contact reporter Loren Genson at (330) 721-4063 or lgenson@medina-gazette.com.