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New I-71/MLK Interchange to Provide Huge Benefit to Cincinnati Region

Lt. Gov. Taylor, ODOT Dir. Wray and local officials commemorate start of new project


CINCINNATI – (Thursday, Aug. 7, 2014) – Touting the economic and transportation benefits to the Cincinnati region, Ohio Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor and Ohio Department of Transportation Director Jerry Wray joined local officials to commemorate the construction of a new, full movement interchange at Interstate 71 and Martin Luther King Drive.

“The additional access into the Cincinnati area’s second largest economic generator from the new interchange will greatly contribute to business retention, expansion and attraction,” said Taylor. “This investment is vital to the Cincinnati economy and job creation as we work to build a more efficient, effective way to move people and goods where they need to go in a timely and safe manner.”

The event held at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center highlighted the benefits the new interchange will bring: reduced congestion, improved access and new economic development opportunities within the Uptown area. The interchange improvement will also reduce travel times to the region’s only two Level 1 trauma centers (Children’s and University hospitals).

“The ability to get into, through and out of Uptown by way of a new MLK interchange will greatly improve conditions for residents and employees in the surrounding neighborhoods and in the region as a whole,” said Wray. “An additional significant benefit is we will help to save lives as travel to the trauma centers will be greatly enhanced. That specific improvement cannot be understated.”

Lt. Gov. Taylor and Director Wray were joined at the event by UC President Santa Ono, President and CEO of UC Medical Center Lee Ann Liska, Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley, Ohio-Kentucky-Indiana Regional Council of Governments (OKI) President and Hamilton County Commissioner Todd Portune, State Senators Bill Seitz and Eric Kearney, State Representative Alicia Reese, TriHealth CEO and President John Prout, and Washing Systems CEO Bobby Fisher.

Construction of the new $80 million interchange at Martin Luther King Drive with Interstate 71 and various other local road and intersection improvements began in July. Construction is expected to be completed in September 2017. It will improve travel conditions for the more than 45,000 residents and 55,000 employees in the surrounding neighborhoods. ODOT will provide nearly $50 million toward the project. The city of Cincinnati will contribute more than $20 million and OKI will provide up to $25 million.​