Friday, January 14, 2000

I-75 study receives funding OK

Bustling highway's future topic

The Cincinnati Enquirer

        Work to figure out the best ways to solve transportation problems along the Interstate 75 corridor officially got the go-ahead Thursday.

        The study includes Greater Cincinnati and Dayton now. But a Feb. 4 summit in Dayton could expand its scope.

        Cities along the I-75 corridor from Detroit to Knoxville, Tenn., are invited to take part in figuring out the future of one of the busiest truck transportation corridors, if not the heaviest, in North America.

        The study on I-75 from the Ohio River to the northern part of the Dayton metro area will start now.

        The Ohio-Kentucky-Indiana Regional Council of Governments (OKI) on Thursday voted to allocate $250,000 so that the consultants, Cincinnati-based Parsons Brinckerhoff Ohio, can get started.

        OKI wants to identify priorities on improving traffic congestion by the end of 2002 or beginning of 2003 so it can give a list to federal legislators who are key in getting federal money to pay for projects.

        “We want to have an agreed program of projects to say, "This is what we want,'” said Warner Moore, OKI project manager for the I-75 corridor study.

        The study includes looking at how to accommodate future truck, car and freight-train traffic and exploring the possibility of electric-powered light rail in Greater Cincinnati's I-75 corridor and diesel-pow ered commuter rail from Cincinnati to Dayton.

        Also, it will consider plans to expand Cincinnati's convention center over the interstate.

        It will cost $6 million for the study, about $4 million for the Cincinnati area and about $2 million for the Dayton area.

        In Greater Cincinnati, this is the third in a series of about a half-dozen studies on how to meet transportation needs in the next two decades.

        In the past couple of years, the agency has completed studies on the Interstate 71 corridor and Clermont County and part of Northern Kentucky near the Interstate 471 bridge.

        Those studies did not include areas outside Greater Cincinnati.

        One of the challenges of the I-75 study will be making sure it does not get too big, Mr. Moore said.


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