Thursday, June 7, 2012

Study: I-71/MLK interchange to create 2,000 jobs, have $101M impact

A new Interstate 71 (I-71) interchange at Martin Luther King Drive would create 2,000 jobs and have a $101 million economic impact, according to a study by the University of Cincinnati Economics Center.

The interchange would also lead to more than $325 million in private investment, creating more than $155 million in tax revenue for Ohio, more than $20 million in sales tax revenue for Hamilton County, and more than $33 million in earnings tax revenue for Cincinnati, the study says.

Beth Robinson, president and CEO of Uptown Consortium, Inc., which helped fund the study, said in a prepared release that the study validates her view that the project is "a win for everyone".

"We believe this interchange will unlock Uptown's economic potential," she said. "The entire neighborhood will benefit from the interchange – from decreased traffic on neighborhood streets to reducing neighborhood vacancies to allowing for easier access to destinations outside of Uptown."

An interchange was planned at the location during construction of I-71 in the 1970s, but was dropped for budgetary reasons. Currently, the only access points are located at the southern end of Uptown, at William H. Taft Road, E McMillan Street, and Reading Road/Eden Park Drive.

The I-71 Uptown Access Study estimates the new interchange would cost $59 million to build, including property acquisition.

"We all truly stand to gain from the proposed MLK intersection," Robinson said. "Residents, workers, businesses, nonprofits, we will all benefit. It's a must do."

Image: Google Maps

Previous reading on BC:
Conversion of Taft and E McMillan should wait, report says (8/9/10)
Cincinnati authorizes funding, cooperation for I-71 corridor (2/11/09)