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Cincinnati: Eastern Bypass

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That is such a ridiculous project.  The only sort of bypass I would be for is if I-471 became I-71 and was extended to the I-75/71 split.  Even then, I would have trouble supporting it unless it meant no new bridge.

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^I'll repeat that while I think the developers would love the whole bypass, they'd be happy just to get the section in Kentucky connecting I-75 and US 27.  That would open the spectacular Licking River Valley near KY 536 (which I'd wager most Cincinnatians have never seen) to large-scale development. 

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I would assume (or hope) that it would be tied into the KY 536 project which will cross at the Visalia Bridge. I have also expressed many times that re-working I-471 to become I-71 through downtown and NKY, with only ramp work and no new bridge, would be the easiest option.

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^I'll repeat that while I think the developers would love the whole bypass, they'd be happy just to get the section in Kentucky connecting I-75 and US 27.  That would open the spectacular Licking River Valley near KY 536 (which I'd wager most Cincinnatians have never seen) to large-scale development. 

 

There won't be much pressure for that as long as the banks continue to refuse lending for speculative sprawl development.

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Jake, where abouts on I-75 to US-27 would that section cross over?  Probably around a 4-5 mile stretch?

 

Yeah I think near 536.  The hills are massive in that area, probably more dramatic than what I-275 travels through. 

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Denver has had a privately-funded 46-mile toll bypass for 25+ years.  We aren't seeing a toll proposal for Cincinnati because the construction costs will be much, much higher.  A major bridge over the Ohio River and possibly a pretty significant one over the Licking.  Tons of blasting and grading in Kentucky. 

 

http://www.denverpost.com/2016/05/31/e-470-hits-25-year-mark-with-more-travelers-and-revenue/

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The "study" requested by Governor Matt Bevin found that the Eastern Bypass would only reduce traffic on the Brent Spence Bridge by about 10%, so we still do need to build a new bridge. But of course, Bevin sez, "It is also imperative that we stay focused on the economic development potential of a bypass. To that end, I am requesting that a planning study for the Kentucky portion of an eastern bypass be included in the next highway plan."

 

The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet also estimated that the cost of the Eastern Bypass would be around $5.3 billion — that's 4.8× what advocates of the bypass claimed it would cost. Their website claims over and over that the bypass would only cost $1.1 billion. How did they arrive at this number?

 

Costs have been reviewed and validated by respected civil engineers including Richard Crist and others. Richard is a registered professional engineer and former contractor having built more than 300 miles of expressway, past president of the Kentucky Highway Contractor’s Association, and member of the Kentucky Transportation Hall of Fame.

 

Wow, the Kentucky Transportation Hall of Fame!

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Ouch. There was a study done on the feasibility of routing I-74 along the AA Highway, and another to construct a southern bypass in Kentucky. The former was not justified due to its very high costs and low projected traffic volumes, especially east of Maysville; the latter was not justified due to its very high costs, low traffic counts and the need for tolls.

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Seems like a complete waste of money. It's literally a highway from nowhere to nowhere serving almost no one. If KYDOT has money to burn, how about throwing some at the BSB project.

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There was a story a few days ago about how Gov. Bevin now says KY needs to increase their gas tax. Watch them increase the gas tax but spend it on awful sprawltastic projects like this one instead of fixing existing highways and bridges.

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Kentucky loves building some highways. The state already has several basically pointless parkways that they're now re branding into I-69 and I-169 and I-66. They are all mostly former toll roads and some still have the old toll road ramps like this. Also since re-branding parts of the Purchase, Western Kentucky and Pennyrile Parkway to I-69 they've created some interesting intersections: Example.

Edited by cincydave8

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Per the tweet above by Pat LaFleur, I don't know how anything other than Option 1 makes sense. The only narrative that seems convincing to me is separating 71 and 75 from ever sharing right-of-way, so 75 has all the lanes to cross Brent Spence and 71 has it's own new bridge. I still think this is a giant waste of money, but at least that argument seems logical on paper. Otherwise the argument appears to be, as stated above, to connect the middle of nowhere to the middle of nowhere for no apparent reason. 

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14 minutes ago, ucgrady said:

Per the tweet above by Pat LaFleur, I don't know how anything other than Option 1 makes sense. The only narrative that seems convincing to me is separating 71 and 75 from ever sharing right-of-way, so 75 has all the lanes to cross Brent Spence and 71 has it's own new bridge. I still think this is a giant waste of money, but at least that argument seems logical on paper. Otherwise the argument appears to be, as stated above, to connect the middle of nowhere to the middle of nowhere for no apparent reason. 

 

The answer is that Henry Fischer is a Bevin donor. That's the only reason this is even being considered. 

 

One thing I think is funny about all this is that political scientists have studied the connection between population density and political preferences and have found that there is a very strong correlation between density and political preferences. Places with more than 800 people per square mile are much more likely to elect Democrats. So by opening up new land to development these Republican politicians are inviting Democrats to move to their communities. Down the road NKY will be a Democratic stronghold and these GOP elected officials can thank themselves for making it happen. 

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Everything inside the 275 loop is denser than 800 per mile, but outside of Covington, Newport and Bellevue none of the cities are Democratic. What's more likely is that this will increase ex-urban development creating more conservative population akin to Boone County and southern Kenton County. 

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The sprawl building machine continues to grind on.


“All truly great thoughts are conceived while walking.”
-Friedrich Nietzsche

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Ah, yes. We can't afford the roads we have, but let's build another one. 

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“To an Ohio resident - wherever he lives - some other part of his state seems unreal.”

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On 12/13/2018 at 10:08 AM, ucgrady said:

Everything inside the 275 loop is denser than 800 per mile, but outside of Covington, Newport and Bellevue none of the cities are Democratic. What's more likely is that this will increase ex-urban development creating more conservative population akin to Boone County and southern Kenton County. 

 

Sorry. I didn't see your response to this back in December. The 800 per square mile rule is at the county level of analysis. So Boone County is at 349 per square mile. Kenton actually exceeds the threshold but it is one of only a handful of counties in the US that are outliers. Republicans have a well oiled machine in these counties but it is only a matter of time before national trends make their way to NKY. Trump got a lower percentage of the vote in Ludlow, Dayton, and Ft. Thomas than a typical GOP candidate. I predict those places swing left in 2020 and beyond as more young families move in to be close to downtown Cincinnati.

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^ Eh, I wouldn't be so sure about that. Look at the fine youth of Cov Cath as an example of who we're dealing with in NKY...

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4 minutes ago, DEPACincy said:

 

Sorry. I didn't see your response to this back in December. The 800 per square mile rule is at the county level of analysis. So Boone County is at 349 per square mile. Kenton actually exceeds the threshold but it is one of only a handful of counties in the US that are outliers. Republicans have a well oiled machine in these counties but it is only a matter of time before national trends make their way to NKY. Drumpf got a lower percentage of the vote in Ludlow, Dayton, and Ft. Thomas than a typical GOP candidate. I predict those places swing left in 2020 and beyond as more young families move in to be close to downtown Cincinnati.

Agreed, especially on Ft. Thomas as more reformed-Catholic young families move there for their good public schools to avoid sending their children to private Catholic schools. 

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1 minute ago, edale said:

^ Eh, I wouldn't be so sure about that. Look at the fine youth of Cov Cath as an example of who we're dealing with in NKY...

Highlands has historically hated and been rivals with Cov Cath, which while un-important in the grand scheme of things could make liberal minded people think about moving to Ft. Thomas or Ft. Mitchell  instead of sending their kids to Cov Cath. Covington and Newport are hurt by their bad schools because the same liberal minded urbanites who want to live there, don't want to send their kids to bad schools, but also don't want to send their kids to Catholic schools where they get heavy doses of pro-life/anti-abortion at best, and racist remarks at worst (speaking from first hand experience). In my limited sample size many of my NKY friends who graduated from Catholic highschools are moving to the two Forts for their schools. 

 

Regardless of political maneuvering in the suburbs, the Eastern Bypass makes no sense as a Bypass, and therefore is a waste of time and money.

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18 minutes ago, ucgrady said:

Regardless of political maneuvering in the suburbs, the Eastern Bypass makes no sense as a Bypass, and therefore is a waste of time and money.

 

Right. It's literal only purpose would be to open up land for new development. 

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2 hours ago, osu97gp said:

...and it's back again.

 

https://www.cincinnati.com/story/news/politics/2019/04/02/ohio-lawmakers-vote-gas-tax-hike/3312585002/

 

"Other changes to the state's two-year transportation budget include:...Requiring the Ohio Department of Transportation to study the Eastern Bypass by Dec. 31..."

 

Zombie road project rises from the grave. 


“All truly great thoughts are conceived while walking.”
-Friedrich Nietzsche

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2 hours ago, osu97gp said:

...and it's back again.

 

https://www.cincinnati.com/story/news/politics/2019/04/02/ohio-lawmakers-vote-gas-tax-hike/3312585002/

 

"Other changes to the state's two-year transportation budget include:...Requiring the Ohio Department of Transportation to study the Eastern Bypass by Dec. 31..."

 

Didn’t state government have a come-to-Jesus moment about new roads and the need to focus on maintenance for existing roads in the lead-up to this gas tax hike? Did I dream that or is that out the window already? 

Edited by thebillshark

www.cincinnatiideas.com

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Thanks to COAST member Tom Brinkman, Ohio will spend millions of dollars to study the proposed Eastern Bypass again. It's funny how their "fiscally conservative" views only apply when it comes to spending millions on urban transportation projects. When it comes to spending billions on a new interstate through Clermont County farmland... ::crickets::

 

Quote

We're going to study Cincinnati’s Eastern Bypass. Again.

 

The transportation to-do list is long around here. There’s the “functionally obsolete” Brent Spence Bridge, the crumbling Western Hills Viaduct and the struggling bus system, which is running out of money and badly in need of a boost.

 

Add to the list for 2019: The Eastern Bypass – a proposed outer loop around the current outer loop that could potentially help ease congestion and spur new development farther away from the city's core. [...]

 

Rep. Tom Brinkman, R-Mount Lookout, pushed to get the study included in this year’s transportation budget. He said it’s all about getting Ohio and Kentucky to work together. The bypass would be a multi-state project, so it doesn’t make sense to plan in isolation.

 

“We have to force the transportation departments to talk together,” Brinkman said. “That’s what my bill is trying to do. Let’s discuss it.”

 

Brinkman is still in favor of building a new Brent Spence Bridge, but he thinks the bypass should come first and that the new Brent Spence should be smaller.

 

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That article is also a great example of how the Enquirer does an awful job of writing about topics like this. The wishy-washy, both-sidesy phrases like, "Depending on whom you ask, this is either a great idea or just one more example of wasting money on a pet project."

 

Why not talk about the results of the study that Kentucky already did on this project, which found that it would divert basically no traffic away from the BSB?

 

Then again, the Enquirer's ad revenue comes mostly from car dealerships and sprawl developers. Can't bite the hand that feeds you, I guess.

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I'd be WAY less enthusiastic to pay for any upcoming tax levies for infrastructure if the eastern Bypass is still alive, even is study form. Also the way he says it above Brinkman treats it as an inevitable thing and that the only question for his bill is to make those planning it work together, "He said it’s all about getting Ohio and Kentucky to work together. The bypass would be a multi-state project, so it doesn’t make sense to plan in isolation" WHy do we keep building out if we know the bad results and can't pay for what we have already.....oh yea, got to keep the developer and car lobbyist friends rolling in dough.

 

Edited by SleepyLeroy
me punctuate bad

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Not only does this bypass not even touch Brinkman's district, but if it is completed it will actively HURT people in his district by moving development and infrastructure dollars out of their area and leave them neglected. Why would he advocate for this? My only thought is that he knows that Hamco is moving left and he's not long for this world as an elected official here. He can just move out to Clermont County and tout his commitment to bringing investment there and run for office there in the future. 

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The bypass is certainly a bad idea and an unfortunate distraction, but I wouldn't get too upset about it at this point.

 

ODOT and the state study things all the time that never go anywhere (for better and for worse). It's a common legislative request to study this or that. ODOT, federal highway, etc. are in no position to fund a major project like this, and are largely focused on preserving existing assets.  The state transportation budget and gas user fee increase only provides enough money to help the state keep up with inflation costs, debt service, maintenance, and very little for major new projects. Unless they've retracted it, OKI had passed a resolution prioritizing the BSB over the Eastern bypass. For this to happen, you'd need large-scale regional support, some type of new revenue source (e.g. tolls), and total cooperation from Kentucky. 

 

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The points on their website ( http://www.cincyeasternbypass.com/ ) are laughably dumb... below is one of their main selling points:

 

I-75 is not a straight line. It has many twists and bends, steep hills, an intense amount of interchanges, and often congestion.

 

Apparently these people love facts & data to support their conclusions rather than blind intuition and feelings.

 

If you guys notice this proposal's northern trajectory between 71 and 75 in Warren county, I don't understand why they don't show using OH-48, which is built just below highway grade as part of their plan. I doubt the tea partiers of Springboro, the same crowd they are trying to court with this proposal, would be happy with a highway in their backyard.

 

Power to whoever is backing this for being that stupid.

 

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Crackpot time: What if instead of an Eastern Bypass we had a Western Bypass? Cincinnati has two bridge issues it can't afford, the Western Hills Viaduct (WHV) and the Brent Spence Bridge (BSB), so why not fix both problems at once, and avoid doing the ex-urban Eastern Bypass. Where I-75 and the current WHV meet, I-75 turns and crosses the current location of the WHV with a new interchange in Fairmount, it then turns South parallel to the Millcreek until US 50, an interchange with 50/6th Street Viaduct, then 75 uses US 50's right of way until a new bridge crossing to KY-20 by the airport. At this point 75 loops around the west side of the airport and Burlington, and runs south to the current 71/75 split. FWIW the existing section of I-75 from WHV to BSB would be renamed 475 and only connect to BSB as an on-ramp. Existing BSB would become I-71's bridge. 

 

This would solve:

1. Congestion on BSB which would become only an I-71 bridge.

2. Interstate access to the Westside by replacing the WHV and running along current US 50.

3. Replacing the Anderson Ferry with a bridge.

4. Providing direct North/South interstate access to the airport and opening up more developable land near Amazon.

5. Separating I-71 and I-75 so that they cross in southern Boone County and never have to share a right of way. 

 

image.thumb.png.1a998765175a8a1b6af6f1ea0c5005fb.png

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