Drive I-75 in NKY? Get ready for more traffic

Posted at 9:00 PM, May 20, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-20 23:50:58-04

FORT MITCHELL, Ky. -- Interstate 75 carries 77,000 vehicles a day as they head north between Interstate 275 and Buttermilk Pike. And the commute for all those people is about to get worse, at least for a little while.

A $26 million renovation project is set to begin in a matter or weeks, with more than two miles of pavement slated for replacement. The orange barrels are staged, the survey work is done, and the pavement is marked.

There's no turning back now.

Patrick Bitters commutes daily from Erlanger to his job with C-Forward in Covington. But he said he won't be using I-75 much longer.

"The traffic is miserable there to begin with," Bitters said. "I will drive Dixie Highway to avoid it."

Erlanger Police Sgt. Jon Sterling said officers will deal with the congestion as it comes.

"It's a problem, it always is a problem," he said. "Like death and taxes, it's there. You're not going to avoid it. It's there."

The bigger problem, Sterling said, are drivers who try to avoid backups by exiting at Donaldson Highway and then immediately get back onto the interstate.

"You have to turn either right or left," he said. "When you go straight onto the ramp, it could potentially cause a collision, and it is against the law. It's a violation of law, and we have federal overtime dollars and officers that actually sit and work traffic details down there."

At Oriental Wok in Fort Mitchell, Mike Wong said more traffic delays would hurt his business. He often sees guests waiting for other members of their party to arrive for dinner.

"Every time they say 'Traffic, traffic, traffic, traffic,'" Wong said. "Now, it could be worse."

Mike Grout, also at C-Forward, said his trip from Edgewood to Covington won't be on the extra-crowded interstate. Instead, he uses Madison Pike.

"I go the back way, and I drive a longer time to get there. But at least I know it's going to be consistent instead of sitting in bumper-to-bumper traffic on 75," he said.

Work is expected to wrap up by the end of construction season, sometime in November.

Sterling's advice: "Watch the morning news.  Use your apps on your phones. Find diversionary routes. Take stock of your day, and get over some of these hurdles."

Remember, you can get the latest traffic hotspots every day on Good Morning Tri-State, in the WCPO app and in our Traffic section of