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Interstate 71/Lytle Tunnel project to begin May 26

$30 million project will construct essential Tunnel upgrades over next two years​

Hamilton County (Wednesday, May 20, 2015) –Lytle Tunnel work beginning May 26 will improve driver safety by bringing the tunnel and its systems in compliance with current fire codes and design standards. Construction is expected to be completed in late fall 2017.


The $30 million tunnel project will upgrade lighting, repair concrete and tiles, and modernize mechanical and ventilation systems. In addition cameras and a fire detection system will be installed to allow more efficient and safer response time to incidents within the tunnel.


The schedule for required road closures is expected to be determined by mid-June, 2015 and will avoid, as much as possible, major downtown events such as the 2015 Major League Baseball All Star Game, Riverfest, Oktoberfest, Heart Mini Marathon and the Flying Pig. Closures include:

·         southbound Interstate 71—for one weekend (Friday night to Monday morning);

·         southbound I-71 ramp to Third Street—for one weekend (Friday night to Monday morning) and a second time for 20 consecutive calendar days; and

·         Second Street ramp to northbound I-71—for 60 consecutive calendar days.


Additionally, Lytle Park will be closed during the tunnel construction work. The eastern portion of Lytle Park will close on May 26 for approximately one-year. The western side of the park will also close but that closure date has not yet been determined. The park area will be returned to its current condition after the tunnel project is completed.


The public can receive ongoing project status information by providing an email address to d08.pio@dot.state.oh.us or via the ODOT District 8 social media pages:




Lytle Tunnel carries I-71 under Lytle Park and Fourth and Fifth streets on the eastern edge of Cincinnati. The tunnel carries three lanes of northbound I-71 traffic, two lanes of southbound traffic and a single lane, southbound exit ramp to Third Street. The tunnel opened to traffic in 1970.