Ohio Turnpike Launching New Collection System

BEREA, Ohio – The Ohio Turnpike and Infrastructure Commission’s new toll collection system, which started as a vision and a study in 2016, is nearing completion. 

The switch to the new system – which began last year – will be phased in over the next several weeks. To accommodate all travelers on the 241-mile Ohio Turnpike – designated as Interstate 80, Interstate 90 and Interstate 76 – the new toll collection system will feature a combination of open road tolling lanes for E-ZPass customers and a gated exit system for non-E-ZPass customers who prefer to pay by cash or credit card. 

In 2023, combined E-ZPass use by Ohio Turnpike passenger vehicle and commercial truck customers was 74.1%, up 0.7% from 2022, according to the Ohio Turnpike and Infrastructure Commission. The modernization of the toll collection system is the largest construction project in Ohio Turnpike history.  

Motorists entering the Ohio Turnpike with E-ZPass have been experiencing features of the new toll collection system since early 2023. The first phase, which permanently opened the entry gates in all E-ZPass toll booth lanes, was deployed at 20 interchanges from Toll Plaza 52 (Toledo Airport-Swanton) in Lucas County to Toll Plaza 209 (Warren) in Trumbull County. More significantly, 127 lanes at these interchanges were upgraded with new electronic tolling components, including sensors and other equipment to read E-ZPass transponders, and to classify vehicles by the number of axles and vehicle height. 

Automated toll payment machines, which accept cash and credit cards, were installed at all 20 toll plaza interchanges, as well as the four mainline toll plazas. The lane conversion process also included the installation of message signs, which provide travelers with messages in the toll booth lanes when entering and exiting the toll road. 

When the new system goes live following the completion of testing, the exit gates in all dedicated E-ZPass lanes from Toll Plaza 52 to Toll Plaza 209 will be opened. When driving through the toll booth lanes, even though the gates are up, motorists are reminded to always follow the posted 10 mph speed limit for their safety, the safety of other motorists and the safety of Ohio Turnpike staff. 

Nine Plazas Will Become Nontolled

As part of the new toll collection system, nine toll plazas will become nontolled. These nine interchanges will still be accessible, but there will be no toll collection staff on-site. 

The following nine toll plaza interchanges will cease toll collection, which means cash customers entering and exiting at these locations will no longer stop to take a toll ticket or pay a toll, and EZPass transponders will no longer be read: 

  • Toll Plaza 13 (Bryan-Montpelier) in Williams County.
  • Toll Plaza 25 (Archbold-Fayette) in Fulton County.
  • Toll Plaza 34 (Wauseon) in Fulton County.
  • Toll Plaza 39 (Delta-Lyons) in Fulton County. 
  • Toll Plaza 215 (Lordstown-West) in Trumbull County.
  • Toll Plaza 216 (Lordstown-East) in Trumbull County.
  • Toll Plaza 218 (Niles-Youngstown) in Mahoning County.
  • Toll Plaza 232 (Youngstown) in Mahoning County.
  • Toll Plaza 234 (Youngstown-Poland) in Mahoning County.  

The overhead signs on the gantry will read, “No toll, keep moving.” 

When the new system goes live, the current Westgate Toll Plaza at milepost 2 in Williams County will close, and the new Westgate Toll Plaza at milepost 4 in Williams County (near the Ohio/Indiana border) will open. New flat-rate tolls will be assessed for both E-ZPass and cash customers traveling in both eastbound and westbound directions through the new mainline toll plaza.  

E-ZPass customers can travel nonstop at highway speeds on the dedicated open road tolling lanes. Customers without E-ZPass will be required to drive through the cash lanes on the right side of the plaza, stop and pay their toll. 

No Tolls Eastbound at Eastgate Toll Plaza 

As part of the new system, Eastgate Toll Plaza at milepost 239 in Mahoning County (near the Ohio/Pennsylvania border) will become a one-direction flat-rate toll plaza. All customers traveling eastbound on the Ohio Turnpike will not be charged a toll at Eastgate Toll Plaza. New flat-rate tolls will be assessed for both E-ZPass and cash/credit card customers traveling westbound through the renovated toll plaza.  

Two new plazas, Swanton Toll Plaza (milepost 49) in Lucas County and Newton Falls Toll Plaza (milepost 211) in Trumbull County, will open as part of the new system. The two plazas will be the new ends of the ticketed toll system. 

E-ZPass customers will be able to travel nonstop at highway speeds on the dedicated open road tolling lanes in both directions. Customers without an E-ZPass traveling eastbound to Swanton Toll Plaza or westbound to Newton Falls Toll Plaza will be required to drive into the cash/credit card lanes on the right side of the plazas, stop and take a ticket. Customers without an E-ZPass traveling westbound to Swanton Toll Plaza or eastbound to Newton Falls Toll Plaza will be required to drive into the cash/credit card lanes on the right side of the plazas, stop and pay their toll.  

Additional Toll Schedules Begin 

When the system goes live, additional toll schedules will go into effect to account for: 

  • The change in the number of toll plazas from 31 to 24.
  • The new tolling points on the mainline at Swanton (milepost 49) and Newton Falls (milepost 211) toll plazas. 
  • The flat-rate tolls at Eastgate (milepost 4) and Westgate (milepost 239) toll plazas. 

The overall toll rate per mile traveled will not change at this time. Click HERE to download the additional toll schedules.  

New Class 8 Toll Schedule 

The commission’s new Class 8 toll schedule for long combination vehicles more than 90 feet in length will be implemented when the new toll collection system goes live. The current $12 per trip fee for LCVs will be replaced by the new Class 8 toll schedule. LCV configurations include a commercial truck pulling double or triple trailers. 

Cameras Will Capture License Plate Images 

Cameras to read license plates will be used to identify customers who travel through an E-ZPass-only lane when a valid E-ZPass transponder is not detected. These customers will be handled as follows: 

  • E-ZPass customers who have listed their license plate(s) on a valid E-ZPass account will have their toll charged to their E-ZPass account at the new V-Toll rate, which is higher than the E-ZPass rate. 
  • All other customers will receive a mailed invoice for the new Unpaid Toll rate. 

Non-EZPass customers who mistakenly travel through an E-ZPass lane can pay their toll online. Customers will have 25 days to pay their toll once it is invoiced. If payment is not received within 30 days, a second invoice will be mailed with an additional $5 charge per unpaid toll. 

Customers who have not paid their toll after 90 days will be sent to collections, and their vehicle registrations at the Ohio BMV will be blocked. Customers will not be permitted to register any vehicles or renew their license plates with the Ohio BMV until their past-due tolls are paid. 

Traffic Monitoring Equipment Installed 

Other new toll collection system projects on the Ohio Turnpike include the installation of automated traffic recorders to count and determine vehicles by class and weigh-in motion recorders to determine the weight of a moving vehicle. 

Pictured at top: Newton Falls Toll Plaza at milepost 211 in Trumbull County is part of the Ohio Turnpike’s new toll collection system. It is one of four new or renovated toll plazas on the mainline that will enable E-ZPass customers to travel nonstop across the 241-mile toll road. (Ohio Turnpike and Infrastructure Commission)

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.