71 interchange

Holly Yurchison / WVXU News

Construction of the I-71/Martin Luther King Drive interchange is expected to begin in July.

The Ohio Department of Transportation says Westerville, Ohio-based Kokosing Construction is the apparent low bidder to do the work. The company's bid comes in at $80.8 million.

The reconstruction will create full access to and from the interstate from Martin Luther King Drive.

Holly Yurchison / WVXU News

State officials are expected to award a contract to build the new interchange on I-71 at Martin Luther King Drive in April, and construction could begin in July.  

Ohio Department of Transportation officials updated a city council committee Tuesday on the $118 million project.  Assistant Project Manager John Otis said when the work begins contractors will not have a complete set of plans.

Holly Yurchison / WVXU News

Cincinnati Council will likely vote Wednesday to sell bonds to pay for the city's portion of building a new interchange on I-71 at Martin Luther King Drive.  The plan has been in the works for several years.  

“We’re not just building a road because we need a road there,” Council Member Yvette Simpson said.  “We anticipate lots of development along the corridor.”

The MLK interchange is designed to provide easier access to the Uptown area and places like the University of Cincinnati and several major hospitals.

Uptown Access Study website

Construction could start as soon as next summer on a plan to build an interchange with Interstate 71 and Martin Luther King Drive in Cincinnati.  

The Ohio Department of Transportation is fast-tracking the project and could select a consultant and contractor by the end of the year.  

But Cincinnati officials are still working to find a $20 million match for the construction.

City Transportation and Engineering Director Michael Moore explained that Tuesday during a Major Transportation and Infrastructure Projects Subcommittee meeting.

Uptown Access Study website

Cincinnati officials will be meeting with Ohio transportation representatives Wednesday about accelerating the construction of an interchange on I-71 at Martin Luther King Drive.  

That project wasn't scheduled to start until 2018.  But now officials are aiming for work to begin in 2014.  

Making that change could mean the new interchange won't cost as much.