Ohio Turnpike Traffic Down 68%

Stay at home orders have resulted in traffic plunging by 68 percent on the Ohio Turnpike.

Although most of that is private vehicular traffic, commercial traffic has fallen by 13 percent.

Although that means less revenue for the turnpike, the Ohio Turnpike and Infrastructure Commission announced said recently it still plans to push ahead with various construction projects this year although a turnpike spokesman said some scheduled projects may be delayed until 2021.

Some 2021 project might be put off until 2022, the spokesman said.

In the meantime, the turnpike has ended manual fare collection at 21 of its 31 toll plazas with machines now taking tolls from motorists.

Ten of the turnpikes toll plaza lack those machines so a minimum number of toll collectors are on duty there although they have been instructed in “mandatory hygiene practices” and physical distancing among employees.

There have been no furloughs of turnpike employees, but part-time toll collectors are getting fewer shifts and a hiring freeze is in place.

Some vendors at service plazas have reduced their hours while some have suspended operations.

The turnpike will benefit from a recent refinancing of $413.5 million in bonds that will save it $139.8 million in debt service over the next 28 years, representing a “net present value savings” of $87.7 million.

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