The Banks will get nearly 10 more acres of land back in new changes to the Brent Spence Bridge Corridor Project, Cincinnati Mayor Aftab Pureval announced Nov. 10.
“The Cincinnati Department of Transportation and Engineering, in coordination with ODOT, KYTC and the Cincinnati Chamber of Commerce, has been working around the clock to listen to residents and experts, incorporate their feedback, and make sure this project capitalizes on a once-in-a-generation opportunity to reclaim land, improve green space and connectivity, and help right the wrongs of the infrastructure decisions of the last century,” Pureval said during a Nov. 10 press conference announcing the changes.
The newly freed up space, approximately 9.5 acres, will be between 3rd Street and 6th Street in Downtown. Pureval said ramp refinements were key in reducing the bridge’s bulk, including removing the entrance from 4th Street to northbound I-75 and adding an entrance from 3rd Street to northbound I-75.
The new design for the I-75 interchange is not expected to make the project timeline longer or more expensive, just slim down the project's footprint, freeing up more usable space for the city.
“We will reclaim developable land, improve green spaces, add bike and pedestrian amenities and ensure that the bridge’s entrance and exit ramps are well integrated into Cincinnati’s street network. We look forward to continuing to work together with the project team to make this amazing project a great success for everyone," Pureval said.
The update comes after revisions in June that also sought to decrease the project’s footprint and expand active transportation options for travelers in Kentucky and Ohio.
The American Transportation Research Institute named the Brent Spence Bridge the No. 2 bottleneck for freight trucks in the entire nation. That's the same ranking as in 2021 and three spots higher than in 2020. A website for the bridge's 2017 maintenance project states that the structure, built in 1963, was originally designed to carry 80,000-100,000 vehicles per day, but traffic in recent years has doubled to 160,000-180,000 vehicles each day.
In May, DeWine and Beshear jointly asked for $1.66 billion from the Multimodal Projects Discretionary Grant, a program through the U.S. Department of Transportation. U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg announced $2.9 billion in available funding through the program in March, as part of the new infrastructure law.
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