FLORENCE, Ky. -- Been stuck on Mall Road in Florence trying to go south on Interstate 75?
Drivers who use that road may be happy to know that the new southbound exit ramp onto I-75 will open in mid-October.
Nearly 4,300 vehicles are expected to use the ramp over a 12-hour period during the day, said Nancy Wood, public information officer for District 6 of the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet. The ramp is located about halfway between U.S. 42 and Kentucky 18 where a northbound entrance already exists.
That should improve traffic flow for folks heading south and improve traffic flow on U.S. 42 and allow direct access from Mall Road, said Rob Hans, chief district engineer for District 6, in a statement.
Kentucky 18 is the northern boundary of Mall Road, and U.S. 42 is the southern boundary.
The original opening date for the ramp was Aug. 15, but delays, including some issues with the wall, have pushed it to Oct. 15, said Wood.
The city is particularly pleased with the ramp, which was originally part of the Mall Road and I-75 access plans, said Josh Hunt, director of business and community development for the city.
“Mall Road is one of the busiest retail hubs in Northern Kentucky, especially when there are events,” he said.
Hunt said the state had always planned to build the exit, but it was also a regional Cabinet budget issue. Increased traffic in the area made it a priority.
Florence Mayor Diane Whalen said city officials are happy that the ramp will be open before the holiday shopping season.
That should make shoppers at the Florence Mall happy as well, especially when they’re ready to head home.
“We’re excited they did it,” said Greg Comte, senior general manager at the Florence Mall. “It’s going to be a convenient way for our guests to access I-75. It should alleviate some traffic.”
Work on the ramp began in March 2016. Eaton Asphalt Co. of Walton was awarded the low-bid contract of $2.1 million for this project.