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highways

Just outside Durango, Colo., archeologist Rand Greubel stands on a mesa surrounded by juniper trees. He points to a circular hole in the ground, about 30 feet across and more than 8 feet deep. There's a fire pit in the center of an earthen floor, ventilation shafts tunneled into the side walls and bits of burned thatching that suggest how the structure once continued to rise above the ground. It's a large pit house from what's known as the Pueblo I period.

"We knew right away that it was highly significant just because of the sheer size of it," Greubel says.

The new Smartlane on eastbound Interstate 670 east of downtown Columbus opened on Wednesday, October 23.
Ohio Department of Transportation

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.

Cecily King, right, and her daughter Odessa hang a sign that says "If You're Going Through Hell Keep Going" over a Columbus highway.
Paige Pfleger / WOSU

You are enough. You are valuable. You are worthy.

Mantras like these have been appearing on highway overpasses and bridges across Columbus over the last few months.

A new report finds that compared to the rest of the country, Ohio’s highways are getting better.

The study comes from the Reason Foundation, a nonpartisan think tank focused on market oriented solutions. It measured traffic fatalities, congestion and construction costs. 

Sleepy truck drivers cause hundreds of fatal crashes each year. Drivers work in an industry that rewards miles driven, not time on the clock, so many truckers push the envelope just to make a living.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration keeps drivers in check with so-called Hours of Service Regulations. The regs cap driving time at 11 hours a day. Truckers have to stop and rest for at least a half hour during that time, and no matter how much downtime they may have in between, they have to quit for the day 14 hours after they start.

ODOT

The Ohio Department of Transportation is testing out new technology aimed at stopping wrong-way crashes on the highway. Signs and detectors are being installed along an 18-mile stretch of I-71 in the Cincinnati area.

Semi-trailers zoom by on I-71 near MAPFRE Stadium as Joel Hunt points to a patch of milkweed, adored by monarch butterflies. It's flanked by Oxeye Sunflowers and Ohio Spiderworts, which share the same purpose: bringing in pollinators.

If you drive Ohio highways you may have noticed more flowers and taller grass on the side of the road.

The Ohio Department of Transportation has begun planting wildflowers along highways across the state with the goal of creating habitats for pollinators.

Each site requires $400 to get started, but ODOT press secretary Matt Bruning said the project will save Ohio taxpayers millions.

Gov. Mike DeWine announces the Columbus Crossroads project will move forward, at a press conference April 15, 2019.
Paige Pfleger / WOSU

On the roof a parking garage at Nationwide Children's Hospital, Gov. Mike DeWine assured a crowd that the Columbus Crossroads reconstruction project would move forward.

ODOT Wants To Change Speed Limits Based On Road Conditions

Feb 25, 2019
Rogelio V. Solis / Associated Press

Ohio's Department of Transportation is seeking permission to apply changes in speed limits anytime statewide.

Once the backbone of the nation's transportation system, the nation's aging interstate highways are now overused and worn out, according to a new federal report. And failure to invest billions in modernizing the system will likely lead to more potholes, slower traffic jams, and increased costs to drivers and the nation's economy.

Hunter Franks

Kyle Kutuchief wants more places around Akron for people to just hang around.

To show what he means, he walks onto a newly renovated pedestrian bridge.

“Behold, behold, the grandeur,” Kutuchief says. “We’re standing over a big old highway.”

And this highway, known as the Innerbelt, is empty. Soon, the whole thing will be removed.

Paying for our Highways: Tolls vs. Gas Tax

May 14, 2014

10:00 Currently the nation's interstates are toll-free, except to pay for new lane construction. With the Highway Trust Fund set to run out of money, some believe we should use tolls to fund highway and transit projects. Others think raising the gas tax is a better option. But is there another solution? This hour we'll talk about several proposals to keep our roads running smoothly. Guests

Get Your Kicks: The Route 33 Bypass

Oct 21, 2013

10:00 For the first time ever, cars and trucks in northwest Athens county can circumvent the small town of Nelsonville, OH . The Route 33 bypass has relieved congestion, but worries some business owners who fear the loss of traffic means loss of customers. This hour we'll take a look at the past and present effects of fast lanes on commerce. Guests