Governor Kasich's transportation funding plan released this week would give a boost to a project to build a new interchange at Martin Luther King Junior Drive and I-71 in Cincinnati's Uptown. The plan calls for starting construction next year on the $107 million project.
Local officials have already been making their own plans for the interchange and the second of two planning studies is being held tonight. Uptown Consortium CEO Beth Robinson says the project is expected to radically change the face of Uptown and increase traffic on MLK.
"One of the reasons we wanted to do the study, and why it was so important, was to prepare for the additional traffic--to make sure it has a positive impact on our residential communities of Uptown as well as our businesses," said Robinson.
Robinson would like to see several other elements come out of the local planning:
- Establishing an identity and a gateway for drivers coming off the interchange.
- Encourage walkability.
- Support Uptown neighborhoods by making sure the land uses around the interchange support existing commerce and residential areas.
Tonight's planning study is being hosted by the city and the Uptown Consortium. It starts at six at Hampton Inn at 3024 Vine Street.
The Transportation Review Advisory Council is scheduled to vote on Kasich's plan tomorrow. Besides the MLK interchange, it would provide funding for three I-75 projects in Hamilton County. All told, it's about $3 billion in road projects across Ohio, including about $470 million for the Cincinnati area projects.