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Cincinnati: Interstate 75

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This area needs serious help.  It is outdated and dangerous.  From the 9/21/04 Enquirer:

 

 

7574_190.gif

State asked to fund work on I-75 section near I-74

By John Byczkowski

Enquirer staff writer

 

Ohio is moving forward to design a replacement for a major section of Interstate 75 in Hamilton County.

 

The state Department of Transportation wants $15 million for environmental and construction design studies for widening a stretch of I-75 between Western Hills Viaduct and Mitchell Avenue.

 

http://www.enquirer.com/editions/2004/09/21/loc_loc1i75.html

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I just noticed that ODOT has a page up specifically for this project. The site is http://www.thruthevalley.com/

 

PROJECT INFORMATION

What is the Thru the Valley project?

The Thru the Valley project involves the widening and reconstruction of I-75 from I-275 (on the north) to Paddock Road (on the south).

 

Project Goals

Improve traffic flow and congestion on I-75

Improve safety on I-75

Enhance the regional transportation network

Develop solutions compatible with local communities

 

How did this project begin?

Thru the Valley was spawned from the North South Transportation Initiative (NSTI). The NSTI, which wrapped up in October 2003, included a massive transportation study of 85 miles of the I-75 corridor, from the Ohio River to the City of Piqua in Miami County.

 

The result of the NSTI was a preferred program of improvement projects. Thru the Valley was determined to be one of the most critical projects on the list. As a result, this project was slated as a top priority. Work began on this project in May 2004.

 

Who is sponsoring this project?

The Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) through their District 8 office is the project sponsor. The project team consists of ODOT Central Office, ODOT District 8 and the consultant team.

 

Is there funding for this project?

Yes. In May 2004, $135 million was secured through federal, state and local funds.

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^

I think this site was just posted on 10/7/04. The most recent update is 11/10/04 (today). Here is a map on the site detailing the area to be widened...

 

 

aerialmap_full.jpg

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^

^

I think a good option for the canyon would be to fill it in and build on elevated 5 lane section on top of that. The problem is, they would probably have to close that section down totally and re-route southbound traffic through the northbound lanes. But I think it could be done.

 

That's just how I would do it.

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The canyon is the section of southbound I-75 that runs through Lockland between the 20' high concrete walls on both sides of the highway. On the map above, it is the section of yellow on the left between Lockland and Arlington Heights...

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Yeah...where the canal used to run.

 

Hopefully they will be able to address the interchange with Cross County, which is currently a joke (esp. WB CCHwy or SB I-75 where you have to get off on side roads to make a highway connection). Gonna have to wait 2 years to find that one out, though. :(

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That section of 75 is the pits...I try to avoid 75 at all costs.. Light rail is the only way to go no matter how wide 75 gets. People need to look ahead into the future..but I guess it all comes down to $ and we don't have it :(

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Yeah, widening.... how about a healthy, balanced diet of widening and transit.

 

I'm still stuck on a question posed a couple weeks ago by a forumer: "Why do we fund roads but subsidize transit? Roads are never expected to make a profit, so why is transit?"

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Yeah' date=' widening.... how about a healthy, balanced diet of widening and transit.

 

I'm still stuck on a question posed a couple weeks ago by a forumer: "Why do we [b']fund[/b] roads but subsidize transit? Roads are never expected to make a profit, so why is transit?"

 

To answer the question about funding beliefs; IMHO, That diference between highways and rails is historic in nature but has turned into a trueism.

Roads have always been "state property" while railroads were "private property." The Rail companies owned their rails, owned the land underneith the rails and stations (and in some case owned land out beyond, so they became real estate moguls). The idea that transit has to turn a profit comes out of railroads always making a profit (and then using those profits on the local transit lines since they never made a profit)

 

Roads have always been state/county built and that the general populace pays for them.

Going back to ownership, along with the rolling stock the rail companies also owned the rail cars and the people involved the daily activities.

Detroit's involvement with the automobile ends the moment you drive your vehicle off the lot.

 

Hopefully that made some sort of sense.

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I would hope that they would incorporate a right-of-way into their plans/construction. But with the money not there for rail as of now' date=' don't hold your breath.[/quote']

 

I wouldn't either...R/W WILL be at a premium, so the project will only take what it needs as a definite, so if there is no funded transit system, no R/W will be secured.

 

HOV lanes should be considered, and/or Bus Rapit Transit (BRT) Lane.

BRT is much more flexible than light rail IMHO, as portions of the route can be on a fixed guideway, and portions can be in the neighborhood/business centers (IOW rerouted to serve travel desires)...BRT can eliminate the transfer between feeder buses and the rail..problem is, folks don't find it as desirable as rail; its still a bus.

 

Cincy will not work for Light Rail, too many "desire lines" of travel going too many directions, and not enough density anywhere to support rail

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Has anyone looked at that survey they provide on the website? It doesn't appear to me that they could possibly glean any new information from it!

 

and you have to print it out and Fax/Mail it...talk about being on the cutting edge!

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I suggest taking out the whole east side wall and just route both northbound and southbound traffic through there. Demolish the 1 mile bridge(northbound). Tear out the abandoned warehouses that caught fire and go from there.;)

 

Not many homes will be affect by my plan..;)

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^ I know that was kind of tongue-in-cheek, but the warehouse that burned didn't burn down entirely (it's freaking huge) and a lot of businesses still operate out of it.

 

Oh, yeah...and your plan would wipe out the entire Lockland business district. :D

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I agree with your historical analysis, Magyar. I think that history has worked its way into the subconscious of the population, which is unfortunate for transit.

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Orange Barrels And Construction To Shift On I-75

 

 

Reported by: Deb Silverman

Web produced by: Neil Relyea

Photographed by: 9News

11/16/04 6:26:41 PM

 

You might have noticed the orange barrels on I-75 north of the city are on the way out.

 

Before you breathe a sigh of relief -- the construction work just north of I-275 is still far from over.

 

The work around the area will be finished at the end of the week.

 

Give it another year and those orange barrels will be back on '75.

 

silverman.jpg

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It does seem like perpetual construction sometimes, but I've been driving I-71 daily (against traffic, happily) since 1997, and I believe there's only been two seasons since then with construction - the widening up thru around Ridge or so in 1997, and then the whole Pfeiffer-Fields Ertel area thing back in 2000 or 2001...am I missing a project?

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Those who run the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) say -- not so fast.

 

Yes' date=' the construction speed limit signs will come down this week, and some of the remaining barrels will be removed -- but, that doesn't mean your days of construction delays on I-75 are over.

 

"Within the next few years you're going to see a lot of continuous work happening," said Ron Mosby, of ODOT.

 

In 2006, work will begin north of Tylersville Road to Middletown and south of I-275 to Paddock Road.

 

In those locations the road will be widened and interchanges improved.

[/quote']

 

So, there will be no added lane from Cin-Day to Tylersville?, or will they have to go back into the recently rehabbed section there and add the 4th lane, when they should have had the 4th lane in the recently finished project go to Tylersville. 'F' for coordination

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Sadly that is probably true. Building without considering future growth patterns and planning according to the present on projects that wont be finished until far into the future seems to be what alot of cities do, so they always remain behind. On the plus side there are always road construction jobs.

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From the 1/14/05 Enquirer:

 

 

I-75 upgrade: a long road ahead

Ohio to spend $107M, but not until 2011

By Tim Bonfield

Enquirer staff writer

 

Note to commuters in traffic jams along Interstate 75: Ohio plans to pump another $107 million into upgrading the region's most crucial highway.

 

But don't start sleeping in just yet. The money won't kick in until 2011, and it remains unclear how many years it will take after that to finish the job.

 

http://news.enquirer.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20050114/NEWS01/501140394/1056

 

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Here's what I read in the first couple lines:

 

Note to commuters in traffic jams along Interstate 75: Ohio plans to pump another $107 million into upgrading the region's most crucial highway, which is not a long term solution to you being stuck in traffic jams. In fact, the project may never save you the amount of time you spend stuck in years of construction delays for it.

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I wonder if all the thru trucks could be detoured around 275, the suburbanites would hate it but screwem :whip:. I remember when 71 was truck free for a short time and it was wonderful..

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Let's keep in mind the property owners along the corridor!  From the 1/16/05 Enquirer:

 

 

I-75 widening alarms some

Lockland, others leery of losing businesses, homes

By Liz Oakes

Enquirer staff writer

 

A long-awaited $135 million project to widen and reconstruct a seven-mile stretch of Interstate 75 could reduce accidents and traffic back-ups.

 

But it also could mean tearing down a yet-to-be-determined number of businesses and homes in several communities along the highway.

 

http://news.enquirer.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20050116/NEWS01/501160359/1056/news01

 

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From the 1/20/05 Enquirer:

 

 

Some for widening I-75

Others at open house fear losing their property

By Liz Oakes

Enquirer staff writer

 

SHARONVILLE - A dangerous, congested stretch of Interstate 75 in northern Hamilton County could soon get a fix if state officials have their way.

 

But some of the 200 people who attended an open house here Wednesday on ways to address the problems are afraid that fix could come at a high cost: their property.

 

http://news.enquirer.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20050120/NEWS01/501200343/1056/news01

 

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75 sucks I avoid it like tha plague...put a rail line up so I don't have to cuss

 

I agree, it was also a big reason why I avoided any neighborhood/burb off the I-75 coridor.  I reroute all my friends and family up I-71.  Although the weird traffic patterns on I-71 are disturbing too, like the ones at Pfieffer which doesn't make sense.

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UPDATE:

 

The next public meeting will be June 29th from noon to 7 at the Sharonville Convention Center.

 

DIRECTIONS:

I-75 to Sharon Rd.

W on Sharon Rd. to first light (Chester Rd.)

R on Chester Rd.

  -- pass Princeton HS...Convention Center is on the left

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If highway engineers would just learn how to design a damn highway without bottlenecks, lane changes or exits too close to each other, then traffic flow would improve dramatically! I mean seriously...what idiots think that converging 2 or 4 lanes of highway traffic into two lanes would not create traffic problems?? It's not just a 50's design flaw, they are still designing highways like this today!

 

It's funny now that when driving thru downtown Dayton, you see the painted "I-75 Thru Lane"s on the roadway. Has anyone noticed that there is only one "true" thru lane on I-75 in downtown in either direction? They don't need to widen a damn thing. Dayton is not that big of a town to need a 5 or 6 lane freeway. Just straighten out the mess and get rid of the bottlenecks. That's what is the root cause of the traffic problems!

 

And old ladies...

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Why does ODOT not think bigger?

 

I believe, as one of my professors, stated, ODOT, as well as most Ohio organizations, is on a four year schedule. Once the four years is up, it is some other administration's problem. The Paddock Road Bridge is a good example of the "forget about the future planning" sometimes seen in ODOT.  It saddens me to know that if any drastic expansion to 75 occurs, which is probable given Cincinnati's dislike of mass transit, it would probably destroy the most beautiful feature associated with 75 between the beltway.

 

As for I-75 specifically, it will be interesting to how the highway is rebuilt. Time will tell to see if ODOT cares about the future of the infrastructure networks, or only cares about current dilemmas.

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Why does ODOT not think bigger?

 

I believe, as one of my professors, stated, ODOT, as well as most Ohio organizations, is on a four year schedule. Once the four years is up, it is some other administration's problem. The Paddock Road Bridge is a good example of the "forget about the future planning" sometimes seen in ODOT.

 

False. That would be your professor's opinion. ODOT is very concerened about what's beyond 4 years. For example, most projects are designed for 20 years service before the pavement needs to be rehabbed. Contracts are being let with major items being covered by a contractor's warranty, such as asphalt and bridge concrete. The "ACCESS Ohio" plan goes out to year 2030, and the District's work plans are for 5 year increments. In addition,  the folks in ODOT have been or will be with ODOT thru many 4 year administrations.

 

Thank the City of Cincinnati, who was responisble for the design and planning of the Paddock Road Bridge

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not to change the subject, but wasn't this also an item affecting the moving forward of the brent spense bridge project? ohio needs to fix the entire 75 diasaster from i-275 all the way trhough downtown(to the bridge) before they can effectively place and design a new bridge. both these projects are tied together and delays in this will inevitebly affect any progress on the new bridge. i can't imagine the hell that 75 will be when it begins construction. they might as well just close it completely and re-route over 71 and make trucks take 275.

 

latley i've been going out of my way and taking 71 north just to avoid the headaches on 75

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Lets just lobby Ohio to build a totally new highway. One with 5 thru lanes in each direction with a new Ohio river crossing. Then turn I-75 into a museum and the theme would be "Great Engineering Blunders of the Highway World". It can have a hotdog stand...

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^ Thru the Valley ends at Paddock/Seymour, so this particular project does not directly affect the Brent Spence Bridge design/approaches.

 

"In addition, state officials announced earlier this week that more than $107 million would be pumped in to upgrading I-75 from Paddock Road south to the Western Hills Viaduct."

 

This was what I was referring to. This extends this project south enough to where the routing of 75 becomes a question when they figure out bridge placement. Plus 75 desperately needs widening through downtown to the bridge, so I'm guessing any bridge work would include this stretch from teh viaduct to downtown (or somewhere around there). To me these all seem necessary and related to the end goal. A new bridge means nothing if 75 in ohio continues to be the bottleneck

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I was digging around and found the following info from the Sharonville city council minutes, 5/24/05:

 

 

Mitch Miller introduced Jay Hamilton from O.D.O.T. who is the Project Manager for I-75 Thru the Valley and Erin Peterson who is the Senior Planner/Project Manager of M.E. Companies.

 

Jay Hamilton identified that there are basically four construction projects that O.D.O.T. hopes to have under construction between 2010 and 2015. The first is the Brent Spence Bridge project that takes it up to about the Western Hills viaduct that hopefully will begin construction around 2015. The Millcreek Expressway project is Western Hills up to just past Mitchell and should be going to construction around 2011. The Gap project is from just north of Mitchell to Paddock Road and should be going to construction around 2013. The Thru the Valley project goes from Paddock up to I-275 and should go to construction in 2010.

 

O.D.O.T. is on step five of a fourteen-step process. The biggest part of what Jay Hamilton would like to discuss this evening is the fact that there is a budget of $160 million for this project. He indicated that the $160 million will be taken as far as it can carry the project. That does not mean that they will say, "this is what we want to build and we will only build this piece of it not worrying about the rest of it". It just means that it would involve going back and trying to obtain funding for the remaining pieces. It will be necessary to prioritize to determine what pieces of the puzzle will be built first. O.D.O.T. will definitely be focusing on main line I-75 improvements first, then interchange improvements beyond that point as they are prioritized for the region.

 

Erin Peterson distributed an overview of the conceptual alternatives that they have at this step of the process. There will be a public meeting on June 29 at the Sharonville Convention Center from noon to 7:00 p.m. where these conceptual alternatives will be presented to the public. After that meeting, the conceptual alternatives will be narrowed down to two or three feasible alternatives. Those feasible alternatives will be narrowed down to a preferred alternative. Then they will know what will happen with the capacity of the interstate. The mainline of the interstate will be focused on first, then the interchanges second. The conceptual alternatives include:

 

* The no-build alternative – This does not mean to do nothing. It means that the projects that are already scheduled and funded would be completed. These projects include preventative maintenance mostly but do not solve any of the capacity problems on the interstate. It is an alternative that has to be carried forward in any federal process so that it is possible to accurately compare the other build alternatives to a no-build case.

 

* The second alternative is a no-build plus minor improvements. This alternative would include all of the no-build projects listed above that are included in the transportation improvement and in local plans plus some minor improvements that would upgrade the interstate to a safe situation as far as the Federal Highway Administration is concerned from a geometric point of view.

 

Currently, the interstate does not have twelve-foot shoulders. There would be twelve foot shoulders from Paddock Road to I-275.

 

Partial interchanges that are not allowed by the Federal Highway Administration would be eliminated. Those partial interchanges are at Cooper which is  basically an intersection on the interstate in the walled section of Lockland, Mangham Drive which is in Lincoln Heights which currently has substandard ramps and the GE stop signs that go on to Neumann Way where automobiles are able to turn in and out 90 degrees onto Neumann Way which functions as an interstate type facility even though it is not designed that way.

 

Neumann Way would also not exist in its current configuration. It would either become a collector/distributor road or it would become part of the main line of the interstate. Neumann Way actually has the highest accident rate of any section of the corridor because it has the 90-degree entrances and exits as well as because it is not designed according to Federal Highway standards. People utilize that road as part of the interstate and in turn drive 65 miles per hour on the road when it was not designed to do so.

 

Auxiliary lanes would be added where they are needed for interchange spacing. An urban area requires one mile spacing between interchanges to be able to merge without causing conflict points. An auxiliary lane would be added between Sharon Road and I-275.

 

These minor improvements would be added with any of the build alternatives because they improve the safety of the interstate but they do nothing to help the congestion problem that will exist in the future.

 

* The third alternative is at-grade mainline capacity. It is basically adding a fourth lane to the interstate so that there would be four-lane continuity from Paddock Road to I-275. The fourth lane would be added in the median in the Sharonville area so it would not take additional right-of-way. It would take a bit of property in the southern portion of the study area.

 

* The fourth alternative is the express lanes. This would offer express lanes from I-275 to Paddock Road. It is important to note that express lanes are also being considered in the other two studies that are taking place now that are south of this area and all the way to downtown Cincinnati. Entrances to the express lanes would only be at I-275 and at Ronald Reagan Highway in this study area. The express lanes would not allow movements to local trips. Local trips would stay on the mainline lanes and express traffic would stay on the express lanes. The express lanes are offered in three configurations. Two are elevated and the third is at grade.

 

* The interchanges are the add-on options to the project.

 

Erin Peterson and Jay Hamilton then reviewed maps of the above alternatives with the Elected Officials and members of the audience.

 

Erin Peterson noted that by the June 29th meeting the evaluation matrix included in the overview would be completed. It is being used to look at both the mainline alternatives and the interchange options. It will be possible to see the costs of each of the alternatives along with the property that would be taken as well as a measure of the congestion relief that the area would receive if the projects were built. There will be comment cards for each of the alternatives at the meeting.

 

Jay Hamilton noted that all of the displays that will be at the June 29th Public Involvement meeting should be on the thruthevalley.com website two weeks prior to the meeting.

 

Unrelated, but interesting:

Tom Keating asked when the Ronald Reagan Highway would be built to the east from Montgomery Road to I-275. Jay Hamilton noted that this is not on anyone's horizon that he is aware of simply because of the complexity of the disturbance that would be involved in pushing the highway further to the east. No one is willing to come forward and make that a priority for the region. Tom Keating stated that there were many lives lost and millions of dollars in collision costs due to individuals cutting through all of those bizarre, cockeyed streets to get from Montgomery Road to I-275. Tom Keating felt that this is the project, if any, that deserves merit in Hamilton County. Jay Hamilton noted that OKI would need to step up and start a study for that project.

 

http://216.68.81.66/domino/sharonville/sh_webforms.nsf/bab0960afa10a1d285256d43000561a9/dd739250e1b50d808525701a004e5f0a?OpenDocument

 

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I like the at-grade mainline capacity option.  We can't keep it how it is, and express lanes will cost too much.  Thru the Valley is from Paddock to I-275, and the Mill Creek Expressway project runs from Western Hills Viaduct to Paddock.  I don't know why RR Cross County was asked about, nothing is ever going to happen with that road.  If I-74 does go across southern Ohio, it will be routed around on I-275, plus Indian Hill doesn't want another freeway through their "Expensive" village.  I can see I-75 being 8-10 lanes with aux between exits.  The interchanges need to be worked on, but that is in the Mill Creek Expressway project with the I-74, Hopple Street, and Western Hills Viaduct interchanges. 

 

www.i75millcreekexpressway.com

www.thruthevalley.com

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