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Leaders: I-71/MLK interchange will drive economic growth

Holly Yurchison

Work is already underway on the new Martin Luther King interchange with I-71. On Thursday, state and local officials gathered at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center to tout the project's benefits.

Ohio Department of Transportation Director Jerry Wray praised the way local and state governments came together to fund and fast-track the project.

"What we are setting in motion today is going to change the transportation landscape in the greater Cincinnati  are forever," says Wray.

The $80 million interchange project is expected to be complete in September 2017.

Besides providing quicker access to emergency medical facilities, business and community leaders say it should provide a large economic boost as well.

Avondale community leader Ozie Davis says, "You can't realize this almost billion dollar opportunity without making Avondale come up first. We have to bring Avondale to a place where it can even receive a billion dollar opportunity."

Davis says the community is already involved in developing and training people to work on the interchange project, especially in construction related jobs.

Tana Weingartner earned a bachelor's degree in communication from the University of Cincinnati and a master's degree in mass communication from Miami University. Prior to joining Cincinnati Public Radio, she served as news and public affairs producer with WMUB-FM. Ms. Weingartner has earned numerous awards for her reporting, including several Best Reporter awards from the Associated Press and the Ohio Society of Professional Journalists, and a regional Murrow Award. She enjoys snow skiing, soccer and dogs.