The Ohio Turnpike and Infrastructure Commission is putting the finishing touches on a new toll collection system – known as TCS – that started out as merely “a vision and study” back in 2016.
[Above photo by the Ohio Turnpike]
The agency said in a blog post more than 20 construction projects – including four new and reconstructed mainline toll plazas – were required to modernize the TCS, which will allow for open road tolling lanes for E-ZPass customers to travel non-stop across the entire state at highway speed (70 mph).
The new design of the TCS also allows E-ZPass customers to travel non-stop at low speeds (10 mph) in designated lanes at all remaining toll plaza interchanges.
Most travelers on the Ohio Turnpike – designated as I-90, I-80, and I-76 across the 241-mile toll road – are already seeing a glimpse of the new TCS.
The TCS modernization plan included a reduction in the number of toll plazas from 31 to 24. In addition to the new four mainline toll plazas, the lanes at 20 toll plaza interchanges are being upgraded with new electronic tolling equipment. The gates from all toll plaza entrance lanes and E-ZPass-only exit lanes will remain in the upright position, the agency noted.
Automatic Toll Payment Machines or ATPMs – which accept cash, coins and credit cards – will now be available at all 20 toll plaza interchanges as well as the four mainline toll plazas when the TCS overhaul is fully completed.
New cameras to capture license plate images are being installed to catch toll violators, the Ohio Turnpike said, with toll lane gates remaining in exit lanes to accommodate customers paying their tolls by cash or credit card. Other TCS projects include the installation of automatic traffic recorders, which is a camera system to count and determine vehicles by class; and weigh-in-motion systems, which include pavement sensors to weigh trucks as they are driving at highway speeds and to detect overweight vehicles.