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Columbus: I-70/I-71 Split Project

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ODOT builds the most boring interchanges. At least the freeways in LA and Dallas and Seattle look cool, negative effects on their cities notwithstanding. 


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

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20 hours ago, taestell said:

Still not as bad as the I-71/I-75 spaghetti junction that ODOT wants to build next to Downtown Cincinnati.

 

 

 

When we keep proposing to add so much infrastructure-that-we-need-to-maintain in the face of so much existing infrastructure-that-we-can't-afford-to-maintain I really question how much longer this country can last.

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20 hours ago, BigDipper 80 said:

ODOT builds the most boring interchanges. At least the freeways in LA and Dallas and Seattle look cool, negative effects on their cities notwithstanding. 

 

I think that's because Ohio has fewer space constraints so we are not forced to build triple-stack interchanges like you often see in LA. Even when there is a space constraint, ODOT has absolutely no problem acquiring and demolishing as many properties as necessary in order to build a flatter, wider interchange.

 

ODOT even bought and demolished the building stuck in between the ramps in this rendering. Just 'cuz.

New-Brent-Spence-Bridge-Approach.jpg

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When Ohio does build interesting interchanges, it's always in weird places. Downtown Dayton has a four-level stack interchange, but Columbus is still ringed with barely-modified cloverleafs with weaving lanes. Cleveland's innerbelt, with all its looping offramps, looks like it belongs in Jackson Mississippi. 


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

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9 minutes ago, BigDipper 80 said:

When Ohio does build interesting interchanges, it's always in weird places. Downtown Dayton has a four-level stack interchange, but Columbus is still ringed with barely-modified cloverleafs with weaving lanes. Cleveland's innerbelt, with all its looping offramps, looks like it belongs in Jackson Mississippi. 

 

Nailed it. It is so obscure how ODOT designs freeways and interchanges. 

 

Columbus has slowly gotten rid of most of the cloverleafs I thought, but then replaced them with some of the strangest designs. The one that always blows my mind is 161 from I270 to Hamilton Rd. There is a tunnel, flyovers, left and right exits, and a strange center upper deck that supports Dublin Granville Rd or 670 and 71 Downtown with it's flyover that feels like you're 200' above the ground. It is all very strange. 

Edited by DevolsDance

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^We do get a lot of nice decorations on our support columns and retaining walls, which I appreciate. But the new I-75  interchange downtown is.... weird. 


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

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Is that one in Cincinnati actually getting built? I'm sorry, Cincinnatians  : (

 

But serious question....is this taking up additional area to further divide the city or is it a net zero? I realize some of that green area there now with bushes and trees will become......cement with a cliff, but the actual bridge length doesn't seem much different....right?

 

I also am dying to still know if that S. High bridge cap is capable of holding a building on it as originally promised.

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10 minutes ago, Zyrokai said:

Is that one in Cincinnati actually getting built? I'm sorry, Cincinnatians  : (

 

But serious question....is this taking up additional area to further divide the city or is it a net zero? I realize some of that green area there now with bushes and trees will become......cement with a cliff, but the actual bridge length doesn't seem much different....right?

 

I also am dying to still know if that S. High bridge cap is capable of holding a building on it as originally promised.

 

Based on the most recent design updates, yes. I believe the last time they were publicly updated was back in 2016, at that time South High was being built as "capable". It is being handled differently this time being that the cap won't be built with the bridge but the structure exists to cap it if a developer or the city were to step up during construction or at a later date. 

 

Now is this still the plan? I do not know for sure, but per the existing project site and a rundown of the project by MORPC in late 2018, both Third and High are being built to allow caps. 

 

http://www.morpc.org/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/Columbus_Crossroads_Narrative_FINAL.pdf

Edited by DevolsDance

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11 minutes ago, Zyrokai said:

Is that one in Cincinnati actually getting built? I'm sorry, Cincinnatians  : (

 

It's actually a bit of an improvement over what's current there. More lanes, but a slightly smaller footprint:

 

https://www.google.com/maps/@39.1072035,-84.5229147,389a,35y,180.99h,62.14t/data=!3m1!1e3

 

 

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Isn’t it amazing how the approved gas tax isn’t even the “bare minimum needed” according to DeWine, yet this stuff comes out afterwards.

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2 hours ago, Zyrokai said:

Is that one in Cincinnati actually getting built? I'm sorry, Cincinnatians  : (

 

2 hours ago, Ram23 said:

It's actually a bit of an improvement over what's current there. More lanes, but a slightly smaller footprint:

 

https://www.google.com/maps/@39.1072035,-84.5229147,389a,35y,180.99h,62.14t/data=!3m1!1e3

 

The new spaghetti junction appears to be about the same footprint as the one that is there now, maybe a little bit narrower. Yes, it's getting pushed slightly away from downtown, but it's also getting pushed further into the West End and will require demolishing a portion of Longworth Hall. On the bright side, you could theoretically build new buildings along Central Avenue in the reclaimed land next to Downtown (shown as grassy lots in the rendering).

 

And regarding whether or not it's actually getting built? That depends on whether or not Kentucky and Ohio can agree on how to fund the new bridge. Kentucky's current administration is completely opposed to the new bridge being tolled, but has no other ideas for how to pay for it.

 

current.jpg

 

New-Brent-Spence-Bridge-Approach.jpg

 

Anyway, sorry for so much Cincinnati stuff... back to Columbus.

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5 minutes ago, taestell said:

 

Anyway, sorry for so much Cincinnati stuff... back to Columbus.

 

 

YES - back to Columbus!  If you want to discuss Cincinnati highway infrastructure - go to the appropriate Cincinnati thread.

 

Sorry for the reply to you taestall - this is directed at all posters in general here - but you provided the proper opening (thanks).

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On 4/16/2019 at 2:36 PM, Zyrokai said:

 

A little more about the bridge designs for the next phases the I-70/I-71 downtown work:

 

This is an aerial of the existing Front Street and High Street bridges over I-70/I-71 between Downtown and the Brewery District:

47797643582_2b2cc01565_b_d.jpg

 

 

This is an aerial rendering of ODOT's reconstructed Front Street and High Street bridge over I-70/I-71:

32905784347_5279a8dc47_b_d.jpg

 

 

High Street gets more improvements than Front Street, with park space being added on both sides of the High Street roadway.  This is similar to a design strategy used by ODOT on the Spring Street and Long Street bridges over I-71 on the eastern edge of downtown.  Below is an aerial of those new Spring and Long Street bridges built by ODOT:

47849806071_1006092c5a_b_d.jpg

 

Long Street is most similar to what ODOT is proposing at High Street.  Long Street received park space on only one side of the roadway (whereas High Street will get park space on both sides).  However, Long Street has a narrower roadway than High Street - and Long Street also received an elaborate cultural mural wall on the side that did not receive park space.  Here are a couple of ground-level views of how Long Street turned out:

40882973643_94ec29e9da_b_d.jpg

47797637722_7202b69dbc_b_d.jpg

 

 

Broad Street over I-71 seems to be getting more the Spring Street treatment rather than the Long Street redo.  Planters and screening walls are being proposed for the Broad Street bridge instead of park space:

47797639032_72de123aca_b_d.jpg

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https://www.dispatch.com/news/20190512/detours-ahead-construction-bringing-big-changes-to-i-70-downtown

 

The above linked article details this year’s work on I-70/ I-71 Downtown:

  • Fulton Street Ramp -- The biggest project will be the construction of a new ramp from eastbound Fulton Street to eastbound I-70, which is scheduled to open July 2021.  This ramp will replace the existing 3rd Street ramp to I-70 east that will be closing in September.
  • Reconstructing and widening I-70 east from South 4th Street to Miller Avenue.
  • Building a new ramp from I-70 east to Parsons Avenue.  Parsons Avenue between East Main Street and Livingston Avenue will close for 60 days beginning in August to accommodate this project.
  • Reconstructing Mooberry Street from Parsons Avenue to South 18th Street.
  • Reconstructing Fulton Street from South 3rd Street to South 4th Street

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From what I understand the High Street bridge isn't currently funded, only the Front Street bridge is. The project with the Front Street bridge (4R) is slated to go to bid next year and will also build the new exit to Fulton St from 70 EB and 71 NB. The High Street bridge has been broken out into its own project (4H). Third and Fourth would be under another project (4B). 

 

The city, ODOT, and MORPC are currently going after a $40 million federal INFRA grant to fund and build all three of those phases at once - http://www.morpc.org/columbuscrossroads/

 

An interesting tidbit regarding the caps --

Quote

While Phase 4 improvements currently include dual sixty foot wide green caps for both the High Street Bridge and Third Street Bridge, both of these bridges will also have the ability to support commercial caps on both sides. The City of Columbus has already completed a feasibility study for a commercial cap on the High Street Bridge over I-70/71. It believes the value of this new economic development opportunity is significant enough that a developer will be quickly identified.

Edited by .justin
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Does this whole project rely on Front Street remaining one-way? Front needs to be converted to two-ways YESTERDAY. It was planned as far back as 2013 and still not done. It's one of the most infuriating things the city hasn't done (to me). COTA's downtown routes would improve DRASTICALLY.

 

Not to mention, Front Street is kinda ugly. Like 90% of it.

Edited by Zyrokai

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^Front Street can be made two way when the bridge is rebuilt and ramp onto Fulton is completed (basically phase 4), which is funded. 

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https://www.thisweeknews.com/news/20191001/major-traffic-headaches-coming-this-fall-for-drivers-on-i-70-downtown

 

Quote

The ramps from eastbound Interstate 70 to 18th Street and from 3rd Street to eastbound 70 will close for good in November. But first, the traffic pattern for eastbound 70 and drivers exiting that stretch of highway for northbound 71 will flip on Oct. 12. The changes are part of the latest phase of the Columbus Crossroads project, which began in 2011 as a plan to untangle Downtown highways and interchanges.

 

This is so incredibly dumb, I'm surprised it got approved.  There will be no ramp to I-70 East out of the downtown area for two years.


Very Stable Genius

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On 10/1/2019 at 1:46 PM, DarkandStormy said:

https://www.thisweeknews.com/news/20191001/major-traffic-headaches-coming-this-fall-for-drivers-on-i-70-downtown

 

 

This is so incredibly dumb, I'm surprised it got approved.  There will be no ramp to I-70 East out of the downtown area for two years.

Quote

 Permanently closing the ramp from eastbound 70 to 18th Street in November. That will be replaced around the same time by a new ramp, just west of the existing one, exiting to Parsons Avenue.

Dark&Stormy was only half right. The 3rd St closure, Fulton St replacement will be 2 years (hopefully).

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3 hours ago, Magyar said:

Dark&Stormy was only half right. The 3rd St closure, Fulton St replacement will be 2 years (hopefully).

 

If I'm downtown, is there a ramp I can take to 70E?


Very Stable Genius

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^Traffic will be detoured down Livingston to Miller/Kelton or Alum Creek entrance ramps. Of course, you can also get on parts of 71, 670, and 315 and make your way to 70 East as well. 

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On ‎10‎/‎6‎/‎2019 at 6:36 AM, ink said:

^Traffic will be detoured down Livingston to Miller/Kelton or Alum Creek entrance ramps. Of course, you can also get on parts of 71, 670, and 315 and make your way to 70 East as well. 

 

I mean, yes, I'm aware there are detours (that aren't convenient).  Maygar was saying the new exiting ramp to Parsons would be a replacement for the 3rd St/Fulton exit that is permanently closing.


Very Stable Genius

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15 minutes ago, DarkandStormy said:

 

I mean, yes, I'm aware there are detours (that aren't convenient).  Maygar was saying the new exiting ramp to Parsons would be a replacement for the 3rd St/Fulton exit that is permanently closing.

 

The new exit ramp to Parsons from 70 EB replaces the exit ramp to 18th St from 70 EB. It will should be opening the same time the 18th St exit closes. (From what I understand, due to hospital access requirements the 18th St exit cannot close until the new Parsons Ave exit opens)

 

Once the 3rd St ramp closes in November, there will not be a direct on-ramp to 70 EB from downtown until summer 2021.

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While the new Parsons exit doesn't replace the 3rd Street entrance ramp, the opening of the Parsons ramp does mean 3rd Street must close because they are so close together. 

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AR-191218780.jpg

 

New ramp from I-70 eastbound near Nationwide Children’s Hospital to open Friday

 

A new exit ramp from eastbound I-70 to Parsons Avenue will open before the morning commute Friday, replacing the 18th Street exit.  The new ramp will take traffic to the intersection of Parsons Avenue and Mooberry Street.

 

The shifting exit ramps are part of ODOT's longstanding multiphase Columbus Crossroads project (i.e. I-70/I-71 Split).  The current $67 million piece involves reconstructing and widening eastbound I-70 between South 4th Street and Miller Avenue, building new ramps and reconstructing portions of Mooberry and Parsons.  New traffic signals also have been installed at Parsons and Mooberry, which will begin operating Friday.

 

In November, ODOT permanently closed the 3rd Street ramp to eastbound I-70.  It plans to open a replacement ramp from Fulton Avenue near Grant Avenue in the summer of 2021.  Closing the 18th Street ramp will give construction crews room to rebuild I-70 over Parsons Avenue.

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Broad Street Ramps to Close, Future Phase of 70/71 Project Delayed

 

Two ramps that connect I-71 to Broad Street Downtown will close permanently on April 9 – the I-71 South exit to Broad Street and the Broad Street on-ramp to I-71 North.  The other two Broad Street ramps are due to close later in the year.  All of the closing will be permanent, part of the larger re-arranging of the Downtown highways that is known as the I-70/71 split.

 

Although this portion of the project is continuing to move forward, future phases are already being impacted by the Coronavirus pandemic.

 

The Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) announced on March 25 that Phase 4R of the project – which includes a new South Front Street bridge, a new ramp from I-70 eastbound to West Fulton Street and a new bridge over Short Street – is now scheduled to start in 2021 instead of later this year, as originally planned.

 

MORE:  https://www.columbusunderground.com/broad-street-ramps-to-close-future-phase-of-70-71-project-delayed-bw1

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Parsons Avenue bridge over I-70 in Columbus closed for two months

 

Future traffic on Parsons Avenue just south of Downtown will travel under eastbound Interstate 70 instead of over the top of the highway.  On Monday, the Ohio Department of Transportation closed Parsons between Main and Mooberry streets, including the bridge, for two months.  Construction crews will demolish the existing bridge that carries traffic over the highway, and replace it with a new span for eastbound I-70 over Parsons.

 

Parsons already runs underneath westbound I-70 and the Mound Street Connector for westbound traffic to exit Downtown.  The new bridge will shift eastbound I-70 lanes north to be closer to the westbound lanes.  Crews already have built piers for the new bridge, ODOT spokeswoman Breanna Badanes said.  They will install the beams now that Parsons has closed.

 

The so-called Downtown Ramp Up, formerly known as Columbus Crossroads, also has affected several ramps, including the permanent closure of the eastbound I-70 ramp from 3rd Street.  That ramp is being replaced with a new one from Fulton Street. ... This phase of work, including the new ramp from Fulton Street to eastbound I-70, is expected to be complete by fall 2021.

 

MORE:  https://www.dispatch.com/news/20200706/parsons-avenue-bridge-over-i-70-in-columbus-closed-for-two-months

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