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ODOT Director joins Cincinnati Mayor Pureval for walking tour of West End

CINCINNATI - The Brent Spence Bridge Corridor project is more than just about crossing the Ohio River; it’s about improving connections between downtown Cincinnati and West End neighborhoods.

Today, Ohio Department of Transportation Director Jack Marchbanks walked with Cincinnati Mayor Aftab Pureval to tour neighborhoods around the I-75 corridor. The tour included locations along Linn Street, West Court Street, Ezzard Charles Drive, Winchell Avenue, Wade Walk, and West Liberty Street.

ODOT is working with the city on Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity (RAISE) Grant improvements at Linn Street and 8th Street that overlap with the Brent Spence Bridge Project. The agency also plans new development and replacement of a pedestrian bridge over Winchell Avenue and provided $200,000 for improvements to the Queensgate Playfield.

"I understand the impact of building an interstate highway through a neighborhood home to thousands of minority families. My childhood home in Dayton was taken by the construction of I-75 in the 1960s. This project will help reconnect the West End to downtown by creating new connections and strengthening existing ones across the interstate," said ODOT Director Jack Marchbanks. "As an avid cyclist myself, I am thrilled to see that we're focused not just on moving vehicles but moving people with all modes of transportation.”

Cincinnati has been an engaged partner throughout the planning process. The city expressed a desire to create an urban feel with the connections across I-75 to make it more accessible and inviting for pedestrians and cyclists, and the project team is working toward this goal.

"I appreciate the opportunity to continue working with Director Marchbanks and ODOT to discuss opportunities to improve safety, mobility, and connections for those living in and traveling through Cincinnati," said Mayor Pureval.

In addition to reconnecting downtown to western neighborhoods, the project team has significantly reduced the footprint of the project, freeing up nearly 10 acres of contiguous developable land for the city. Once the design-build team is named, one of their first tasks will be to look for feasible ways to add to that total.

"While this project has been refined over the years, we still think more can be done to make a great project even better. We remain committed to working with our local partners like the city, Hamilton County, and other key stakeholders to stay on budget and on schedule," Marchbanks said.

This phase of the project addresses six of the eight miles of the total corridor; five miles of the I-71/75 corridor in Kentucky and one mile of I-75 in Ohio. It includes improvements to the Brent Spence Bridge and a companion bridge to the west. Work on the two northernmost sections of the corridor in Ohio will be done under separate contracts.

Groundbreaking for the Brent Spence Bridge Corridor Project is expected to take place later this year, with construction beginning in earnest in 2024 and completion by 2029.