Construction to create yearlong traffic snarl on I-71

Posted at 10:51 PM, Jul 19, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-20 06:09:26-04

CINCINNATI -- Getting downtown from I-71 is about to get much more difficult: The Third Street ramp from southbound I-71 will shut down late Wednesday night and stay closed for a year.

During the closure, anyone headed south will need to get off at Gilbert and take Eighth and Sycamore to reach Third Street.

The closure is part of the Ohio Department of Transportation’s plan to rebuild the bridge decks over Eggleston Avenue. This extensive reconstruction, they said, involves shutting down a stretch of tunnel for a year.

Although necessary, this project presents a severe traffic snarl for drivers who want to get downtown.

On the East Side, the ramp is the gateway to the Great American Ballpark, Smale Park, local banks and Paul Brown Stadium, and figuring out other ways to reach these destinations could be tricky. 

“It sucks,” said Cincinnati resident Dale Henry. “There’s gonna be no easy way to get around.”

Downtown Cincinnati’s web of one-way streets could still prove hazardous to confused drivers, especially those who may be coming to the Queen City from out of town.

“How else do you get to the ballpark?” said Jason Carter, who drove down Tuesday night from Columbus to attend the Reds game.

Officials said they plan to install signs directing the detour. You can view a traffic map with suggested alternate routes below: