Lake County: ODOT speed limit adjustment program in effect to help curb accidents

LAKE COUNTY, OH (WOIO) - Earlier this year, the Ohio Department of Transportation installed adjustable speed limit signs on I-90 in Lake County, in one of the worst areas for crashes during bad weather.

The signs have allowed ODOT to adjust speed limits daily, or even hourly -- but this week could be the first big test.

"We implemented a static speed limit where we reduced it by 10 miles per hour for the entire winter. Not so effective because there were a lot of very nice days last winter," said ODOT's Amanda McFarland.

This year, ODOT is implementing what they call "variable speeds" like in construction zones, but this is for snowy conditions.

"We wanted to draw more attention to the importance when the conditions warrant," McFarland said.

With snow falling last week, the speed limit was dropped down to 40 mph on Friday night.

"We didn't have any major incidents, we weren't seeing the two-plus inches that corridor can see," McFarland said.

That amount is possible in the next couple of days.

"If the pavement temperature starts to drop really low and we notice ice, we are going to drop it. If we notice the roads are starting to be snow-covered because it is snowing multiple inches an hour and our crews are struggling to keep up, we are going to reduce it again," McFarland said.

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