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Cincinnati could fast-track 71/MLK interchange

Uptown Access Study website

Cincinnati officials will be meeting with Ohio transportation representatives Wednesday about accelerating the construction of an interchange on I-71 at Martin Luther King Drive.  

That project wasn't scheduled to start until 2018.  But now officials are aiming for work to begin in 2014.  

Making that change could mean the new interchange won't cost as much.  

Martha Kelly with the city's department of Transportation and Engineering said right now there are two alternatives being considered.

“The ‘Option 2’ which has the full interchange at Martin Luther King and keeps Taft/McMillan open is the preferred alternative of the city staff as well as ODOT,” Kelly said.  “And it also received the majority of the public support in the public meeting in 2011.”

The other plan would eliminate the Taft/McMillan ramps, which officials said wouldn't help improve access to the Uptown area from 71.  

The city will be holding public hearings in April to get feedback from residents on the final two alternatives.  

The city manager is suggesting using $20 million from the proposed parking lease agreement to help fund the new interchange.

Jay Hanselman brings more than 10 years experience as a news anchor and reporter to 91.7 WVXU. He came to WVXU from WNKU, where he hosted the local broadcast of All Things Considered. Hanselman has been recognized for his reporting by the Kentucky AP Broadcasters Association, the Ohio Society of Professional Journalists, and the Ohio AP Broadcasters.