First SmartLane in Ohio officially opens to traffic to help reduce congestion

Oct. 25, 2019

Ohio DOT (ODOT) Director Jack Marchbanks was recently joined by Lt. Gov. Jon Husted to announce the opening of the state's first SmartLane. 

The SmartLane is the left inside shoulder on eastbound I-670 in the Columbus area and opens as an additional lane during peak times of traffic to relieve congestion. It uses technology to manage access and speed limit, as well as communicate with drivers on the route. The SmartLane is a pilot project for Ohio, and stretches along 8 lane-miles of eastbound I-670, from I-71 to I-270. 

“This project represents a shift in the way we think about dealing with traffic congestion. Not only will the SmartLane get Central Ohioans home faster, this new technology will allow us to truly manage traffic, not just monitor it," Marchbanks said in a statement

The route contains nine electronic overhead signs that help communicate to drivers when the SmartLane is open by displaying a green arrow over the shoulder. It also consists of 37 high-definition cameras that ODOT's Traffic Management Center will consistently monitor. Another key part of the SmartLane's success was the widening of the I-670/I-270 interchange, where the SmartLane turns into a permanent new lane. 

Construction took approximately 18 months and cost about $60 million, the majority of which was used for the interchange improvements. 



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