Interchange to Provide Huge Benefit to Cincinnati Region
Lt. Gov. Taylor,
ODOT Dir. Wray and local officials commemorate start of new project
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.