PRESENTING … Chad Armstrong, Communications Information Officer for the Ohio Turnpike Commission, provided a presentation on the Ohio Turnpike for the Stryker Rotary Club on Tuesday evening. It took just under three years and 326 million dollars to build the Ohio Turnpike. Ground was broken on October 27, 1952 and the road was open for business on October 1, 1955. Traffic on the first day included 44,000 vehicles. Tolls for 2012 are projected to be at 249 million dollars with 70% of those funds are used for capitol improvements and maintenance. The commission resurfaces about 100 miles of roadway each year. Much of the current road is built on the original base and they are currently looking at a 20 year project to replace the entire base as needed. The road is one of the safest roads in the state with an accident rate less that ½ of the national average. October is an important month for the turnpike and on October 1, 2009 the E-Z pass was introduced. The E-Z pass is good Ohio and many of our neighboring states to pay tolls. Using the E-Z pass can save both time and money when using the toll roads. Chad said the average savings across Ohio is about 35% when using the E-Z pass. Chad also informed the Rotary that the state has commissioned KPMG to do a study on the operation of the turnpike. The study is still in process and no decisions have been made on making any changes at this time. Chad, pictured on the right, spoke as a guest of Stryker Rotary Member Ken Culler.