Monday, April 1, 2013

MLK interchange wins $5M; Public meetings set

The Ohio Controlling Board at its Mar. 25 meeting approved $5 million for the preparation of design-build documents for a new interchange at I-71 and Martin Luther King Drive (MLK).

Columbus-based TranSystems Corporation, which prepared initial conceptual alternatives as part of the Uptown Access Study, is expected to have the documents completed in time for a scheduled contract award date of April 2014.

The $61.6 million project would provide a full-access interchange and an additional access lane on southbound I-71 from Montgomery Road to the MLK and Taft Road exits. Also, intersections would be improved at MLK and Gilbert Avenue and at MLK and Reading Road.

Construction would begin by July 2014 and would be completed in November 2017.

A June 2012 study by the University of Cincinnati Economics Center estimated that the new interchange would have a $101 million economic impact and create 2,000 jobs in the Uptown neighborhoods.

Two open houses on the project's two design alternatives will be held this month at the Hampton Inn & Suites Cincinnati/Uptown-University Area, located at 3024 Vine Street in Corryville: From 10 A.M.-1 P.M. on April 20, and from 4 P.M.-8 P.M. on April 23. Formal presentations will be given each half hour.

Cincinnati City Council last month voted to approve $20 million in proceeds from its Parking Modernization Plan to help speed up the project. But last week, Hamilton County Common Pleas Judge Robert Winkler ruled that the vote was improperly passed by emergency ordinance, opening up the plan to a public referendum.

A petition drive to put the measure on the November ballot has collected more than 10,000 signatures so far, organizer Pete Witte said today. Opponents have until Thursday to collect at least 8,500 valid signatures.

Previous reading on BC:
TRAC accepts 2014-2017 draft for road projects, accepting public comment (12/21/12)
City applies for $2.4M to study MLK interchange (9/25/12)
Study: I-71/MLK interchange to create 2,000 jobs, have $101M impact (6/7/12)
Conversion of Taft and E McMillan should wait, report says (8/9/10)
Cincinnati authorizes funding, cooperation for I-71 corridor (2/11/09)