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I-70/I-71 Downtown Ramp Up

Project Status

  1. Proposed

  2. In Development

  3. Pre-construction

  4. Construction

  5. Completion

The Downtown Ramp Up is a series of projects to reconstruct Interstates 70/71 in downtown Columbus and alleviate the biggest safety and congestion problems along the corridor. ODOT has already invested more than $400 million into the interchange improvements, and construction of another three projects worth $480 million will begin in the next four years.

The projects were undertaken due to high crash rates and heavy congestion into and out of downtown Columbus. When complete, the projects will result in new urban avenues with complete streets, enhanced freeway crossings with safe pedestrian and bicyclist accommodations, and the removal of unsafe ramps.

Project Description

Upon completion of all phases, this $1.4 billion mega project will:

  • Improve safety at three of the state’s top ten crash locations
  • Fix the biggest safety and congestion issues along the I-70/71 downtown corridor
  • Build an additional lane in each direction on I-70/71 
  • Provide two continuous lanes for I-70 east and west and for I-71 north and south through downtown Columbus (not including ramp lanes)
  • Eliminate nearly 70% of lane changes on I-70/71
  • Eliminate free-flow ramps at downtown street intersections for safer pedestrian crossings
  • Reconnect neighborhoods by replacing bridges with wider, pedestrian-friendly structures with parking and landscape design

Alternate Routes

Access to Nationwide Children's Hospital

Traffic must exit via Parson Avenue ramp

Interstate 70 eastbound drivers headed to Nationwide Children's Hospital now must use a new exit ramp. Instead of exiting at 18th St. as drivers have in the past, the new ramp lands motorists at the intersection of Parsons Avenue and Mooberry Street.

This means the decision point for I-70 east drivers comes much sooner than before. Traffic wishing to access Nationwide Children's Hospital or Parsons Avenue will exit the highway on the right just past 4th Street, before the through lanes shift to the left. Parsons Avenue traffic should stay to the far right to exit, and traffic that wants to continue on I-70 east should stay left.

Along with the interstate changes, traffic on Parsons Avenue will now come to a signalized intersection at Mooberry Street and should be prepared to stop. 

Additionally, the eastbound exit ramp to 18th Street is now closed permanently. This closure allows crews to begin rebuilding I-70 east over Parsons Avenue.

Upcoming and Current Project Phases

Below are phases that are currently under construction or will be progressing into construction soon. To see all phases related to Downtown Ramp-Up, please click here.

Phase 2E (PID 105322)

CONSTRUCTION DATE: Summer 2019 – Fall 2022
COST: $82 million

  • Reconstructs and widens I-70 east from 4th St. to Miller Ave
  • Constructs new ramps from Fulton St to I-70 east and I-70 east to Parsons Ave
  • Reconstructs Fulton St. from Third St. and 4th St.


Phase 3B (PID 105453)

CONSTRUCTION DATE: Spring 2020 – Summer 2022
COST: $41 million

  • Reconstructs and widens I-71 from Broad St. to Long St.
  • Reconstructs and widens the Broad Street bridge over I-71
  • Builds Lester Dr. and Elijah Pierce Ave. between Broad St. and Long St.
  • Constructs two retaining walls


Phase 4R (PID 105523)

CONSTRUCTION DATE: Fall 2021 – Fall 2024
ESTIMATED COST: $115 million

  • Reconstructs and adds an extra lane through the I-70 east/I-71 north overlap
  • Constructs new ramp from I-70 east to Fulton St.
  • Widens I-70 bridge over Souder Rd.
  • Replaces I-70 bridge over Short St. and the Front St. bridge over I-70
  • Reconstructs Livingston Ave. between Front St. and High St.
  • Converts Front St. to two-way traffic between Livingston Ave. and Mound St.
  • Reconstructs Fulton St. between Front St. and High St., which closes existing ramps from I-70 east to Front St. and I-70 east to Livingston Ave. 
  • Replaces deck on I-70 west bridge over SR 315 and ramps, overlays I-70 east bridge over SR 315


Phase 6R (PID 105588)

CONSTRUCTION DATE: Fall 2021 – Fall 2024
ESTIMATED COST: $120 million

  • Builds new ramp from Mound St. to I-71 south including new bridge over the Scioto River and SR 315 and a new bridge over Short St.
  • Reconstructs the existing ramp from Mound St. to I-70 west including new bridge over Short St.
  • Reconstructs Mound St. between Front St. and the cul-de-sac, and adds a lane to the overlapped portion on I-70 west/I-71 south providing two continuous lanes of I-71 and I-70 through downtown Columbus


Phase 4B (PID 96053)

CONSTRUCTION DATE: Fall 2023 – Fall 2026
COST: $246 million

  • Reconstructs I-70 east and west between Front St. and Grant Ave.
  • Reconstructs I-70 east from I-71 to High St., including bridges over the Scioto River and SR 315, and over the railroad tracks.
  • Reconstructs I-70 west bridges over the Scioto River and SR 315, over the railroad tracks, and over Short St.
  • Replaces 3rd St., 4th St., and High St. bridges over I-70
  • Reconstructs 3rd and 4th St. from Livingston Ave. to Fulton St. 
  • Builds five retaining walls


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