ODOT

Bill Rinehart / WVXU

The Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) has a busy year ahead.  Acting District 8 deputy director Gary Middleton announced the beginning of the construction season Monday afternoon.

“To many Ohioans, construction season means orange barrels and potential delays,” Middleton says.  “However construction season means more than that.  It’s an investment in our state’s transportation system that is vital to our economy and vital to job creation in Ohio.”

Tana Weingartner / WVXU

The Ohio Department of Transportation says the field review of the Interstate 75 off-ramp collapse took less time than expected, meaning the clean-up and repairs were finished sooner than anticipated.  ODOT spokesman Brian Cunningham says the only damage to the four southbound lanes of I-75 was a two-foot by two-foot hole.

“Speculation was there were going to be multiple areas that would need to be fixed.  And that just wasn’t the case,” Cunningham says.  “And so when the assessment was done, it was evident that there was just one particular area that had damage to it.”

Michael Keating

Taxpayers will pick up the tab for an $8 million study of the impact of a reconstructed Brent Spence bridge on traffic, noise and the effect tolls will have on minorities and low-income persons.

The Ohio Controlling Board released the money Monday at the request of the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT)

ODOT spokesman Brian Cunningham said the state of Ohio is in the process of working out a “memorandum of understanding” with the state of Kentucky. Once that is finished, Cunningham said, Kentucky will reimburse Ohio for half of the $8 million.

Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley said Thursday there could be a solution to maintain interstate access to Cincinnati State as the work to rebuild Interstate 75 continues.  

The current plan calls for the eastbound I-74 ramp to Central Parkway to be removed.  Cincinnati State officials have been complaining about the issue for months.  

Cranley raised the access issue with Ohio Governor John Kasich during a meeting at city hall on Wednesday.  

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.

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