On the East Coast, June 1 marks the start of hurricane season. In the Tri-State, it’s the start of just as dreaded a time: road construction season.
This summer promises to be a very active season, too, with major work scattered throughout the Tri-State, according to the Ohio Department of Transportation and the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet.
If there’s one overarching principle to take to heart over the next few months, it might be this: avoid I-75. That’s nothing new for some, since the massive reconstruction of the artery through Cincinnati has vexed motorists for a few years already, but there’s still no relief in sight — and there will be new headaches, too.
The new Hopple Street interchange is nearly completed, so those headed to and from the University of Cincinnati — or to FC Cincinnati matches — will have an easier time getting in and out of Clifton, University Heights and Corryville. The interstate itself, though, is still very much a work in progress, with a new traffic pattern implemented just last month. With vehicles now routed to the outside lanes, the focus now shifts to rebuilding the center lanes and median.
That won’t be done until summer 2017.
Work also continues on replacing the railroad bridge over the expressway just south of the Norwood Lateral.
The other big Cincinnati project is the creation of a new I-71 interchange at Martin Luther King Drive. Intended to improve access and spur development of the city’s Uptown neighborhoods, particularly Avondale, it was put on a fast track by Gov. John Kasich. Even on a fast track, the complicated plan is taking years to build from scratch. (It includes moving and rebuilding bridges, for example, and rebuilding ramps to and from William Howard Taft Road.)
While some facets of the project will be finished this summer, the whole thing will take at least another year to complete.
Also on I-71, the three-year rehabilitation of the Lytle Tunnel continues. This is the second year, if you’re counting.
Northern Kentucky drivers who may have laughed at the woes of their Ohio neighbors won’t be laughing any more. Northbound lanes of I-71/75 are slated to be rebuilt this summer from about the I-275 interchange to Dixie Highway. The overall construction zone, though, will stretch to Kyles Lane. Northbound traffic will be rerouted onto some of the southbound lanes, so expect slow going all summer.
North of the city, the replacement of Ohio’s tallest bridge continues in Warren County. Half of the new Jeremiah Morrow Bridge is finished, and I-71 traffic is using it while the other half is rebuilt. That’s not likely to be done this summer, either.
Just outside Oxford, U.S. 27 is getting a major facelift. It’s being widened south of Miami University’s home, and culverts are being repaired and replaced north of McGonigle and south of Millville.
Not on the same scale as these major undertakings, these big efforts are worth noting:
- A new bridge for North Bend Road is being built over I-74. It won’t be done until 2017.
- The intersection of Beechmont Avenue and Five Mile Road is being reconfigured into what’s called a continuous flow intersection, one of the first in the region.
- The extension of Ky. 9, better known as the AA Highway, to the Ohio River continues with construction on downtown Newport’s western edge.
The map below offers a guide to the largest projects scheduled for this summer across Greater Cincinnati. It’s assembled with data from ODOT’s District 8 and the Transportation Cabinet’s District 6.
Keep in mind, though, that it’s only part of the picture. Repaving and rehabilitation projects by counties and municipalities, several of them pretty large-scale, will dot the landscape. Several offer a guide to the work they’ve scheduled, so take a look and don’t get a bad surprise one Monday on your way to work.
Keep tabs on construction
Ohio Department of Transportation: The District 8 website posts releases on the latest closings and construction schedules. That includes work on I-71, I-75, U.S. 27 and U.S. 50. The district includes all of Southwest Ohio.
Hamilton County: The site of Engineer Theodore Hubbard includes a couple of useful links:
- A road-closure advisory.
- The office’s 2016 annual report. It holds a trove of information on the road projects the county plans to tackle this year. It’s a great resource for finding out whether your neighborhood will see barrels this summer.
City of Cincinnati: The Department of Transportation and Engineering offers information on the city’s street rehabilitation program, through which neighborhoods are targeted on a three-year cycle. Cincinnati also offers the RoadmapCincy tool — it has Twitter and Facebook feeds, too — to track street closures downtown and in Over-the-Rhine.
Follow Thomas Consolo on Twitter: @tconsolo_news.
Customize your view of the map below by clicking the icon left of the tile. You can choose which layers to display. Click on each item for a brief description.