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Published: Monday, 10/15/2012

Variable speed limits tested in work zones


Work-zone speed limits that vary depending on whether workers are present were introduced to the Toledo area over the weekend during ongoing bridge repairs on I-75 between I-280 and Phillips Avenue.

In work zones with variable speed limits, flashing lights on signs will indicate whether the lower speed limit is in effect. When the lights are unlit, traffic will be allowed to proceed at normal speeds.

The program will emphasize drivers’ need to be especially careful near workers, while relieving congestion and delays when zones are not active, according to an ODOT statement.

“Only the area with workers present and doing work will be lowered allowing for traffic to flow freely throughout the rest of the zone,” the department said.

The variable speed limit concept was adopted in Ohio as part of the annual budget review and became law Sept. 10. Similar work-zone speed limit practices were already used in Indiana and Michigan.

Other work zones piloting the program in Ohio include two on I-71 in Franklin and Warren counties and State Rt. 2 in Lake County.

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