NEWPORT. Ky. - Primary roads here will be ready for an FC Cincinnati soccer stadium if it comes.
That’s because the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet embarked on a major project years ago to straighten Route 9 and connect it with Route 8.
"Route 9 is one of our greatest accomplishments if you look at what we've done there,” said Bob Yeager, KTC chief engineer.
"We're using roundabouts to cut back on the number of rightaways and turns and to get traffic through there as efficiently as we can."
The infrastructure was started with big things in mind, like enticing Amazon – or FC Cincinnati – to the Ovation site on the riverfront.
"There's opportunities for apartments, complexes, businesses, or even bigger things if you want to dream," Yeager said.
It’s the talk of the town even though no one knows what's going to happen, says Sean Caudill, owner of Spanky&Co. Barber Shop at 12th and Brighton.
“We hear everything - people from Newport, who aren't from Newport, telling us all different things," said Caudill.
"The excitement is for sure there. We're a diamond in the rough on this west side of Newport. Having that expansion come in, New Riff going in over there, I think it will bring a lot of possibilities there."
Caudill is hoping for more foot traffic from the improved Route 9.