Traffic on the Ohio Turnpike and at the Archbold- Fayette interchange has been on the decline since 2006.
But toll revenues are up about 1.8% from 2006 to 2009, according to information from the Ohio Turnpike Commission.
The report states in 2009 about 48.2 million vehicles traveled all or part of the turnpike, down from just under 51.8 million in 2006, the peak year for turnpike traffic in the last 10 years. That represents a decline of almost 7% in the number of vehicles.
But toll revenue in 2006 was almost $184 million, compared to 2009, when revenue was just over $187 million.
In 2009, toll revenues were down just over $250,000, and the total number of vehicles using the turnpike was down almost 1.8 million when compared to 2008.
The Archbold-Fayette interchange, exit 25, saw about 428,000 vehicles pass through the toll booths during 2009, down 1,000 from 2008, when 429,000 vehicles utilized the interchange.
Just like the turnpike itself, 2006 was the peak year for traffic through the Archbold interchange. That year, 462,000 vehicles passed through the toll booths. When compared to 2006, the 2009 traffic count is down 34,000 vehicles, or about 7.4%.
All of the area interchanges, Bryan-Montpelier, Archbold Fayette, Wauseon, and Delta-Lyons, were down in traffic. In each case, 2006 was the high.
The Bryan interchange dropped from 712,000 vehicles in 2008 to 659,000 in 2009, a decline of about 7.4%.
Wauseon saw the number of vehicles using its interchange drop below 700,000 for the first time in at least 10 years. In 2009, there were 690,000 entries or exits, down 32,000, or about 4.4% from 2008.
At Delta, there were 521,000 vehicles through the toll booths in 2009, a drop of 42,000, or roughly 7.1% from the 2008 total.
For many years, Exit 218, the Niles-Youngstown interchange, has been the busiest on the Turnpike.
In 2009, over 7.8 million vehicles went through the gates. That figure is down 348,000 from 2008, when about 8.2 million vehicles used the interchange. The decrease in traffic works out to about 4.4%.
Just two miles away, at the 216-mile marker, is the Lordstown East interchange, where in 2009, 245,000 vehicles passed through. That’s down 39%, or 157,000 vehicles, from the 402,000 that passed through the interchange in 2008.
Turnpike commission offi cials attributed the decline in the total number of vehicles using the turnpike to the national economic slowdown.
“The total number of vehicles that traveled the Ohio Turnpike in 2009 declined 3.6%, and the vehicle miles traveled decline 3.2% from levels reached in 2008.
This resulted in a drop in toll revenue of approximately $250,000 or .1%.”
Despite the drop in revenue, commission officials said total revenues in 2009 exceeded expenses by $9.6 million, “providing additional resources for the commissions ongoing capital improvement program.”
During 2009, the turnpike commission reported making about $51.6 million in capital improvements.
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