ODOT Opens Ohio's First Smart Lane In Columbus

Oct 23, 2019

Ohio's first-ever 'smart lane' has opened. The smart lane is meant to reduce traffic congestion heading out of downtown on eastbound Interstate 670.

The left shoulder of the interstate will moonlight as a fourth lane when the pace of traffic dips below 45 miles per hour.

Jack Marchbanks, director of Ohio Department of Transportation, says that stretch of highway met two main requirements.

"There are other areas where it would not work because the shoulders are too narrow. We had the width of pavement here where it would work and it is a very congested route, so we saw benefit to this," he said.

Marchbanks says law enforcement will be on the lookout for people using the shoulder when the green arrow isn't lit.

"We are concerned that people use it at the appropriate times so we will have additional patrols out there, we're working with the state highway patrol and the Columbus Police Department," he says.

The project cost $60 million, though Marchbanks points out that also includes the reconfiguration of the interchange at interstates 670 and 270 on Columbus' eastside. 

ODOT is looking at replicating the project in other parts of the state.