Saturday, June 30, 2001

Delays snarl freeway traffic

Early holiday travelers caught

By Stephenie Steitzer
Enquirer Contributor

        It was an ugly day on Tristate highways.

        Traffic from Cincinnati to Northern Kentucky was unusually slow-moving Friday, especially from the Reading Road-Gilbert Avenue exit south on Interstate 71 to Interstate 471.

        “It stinks,” said Leon Dye, who was filling his gas tank later at the Buttermilk Pike Shell station.

        Mr. Dye took the week off to travel from Michigan to Georgia this holiday weekend. Because the Fourth of July is on Wednesday, many people are making a weeklong vacation out of it.

        Traffic was congested most of Friday on Interstate 75 south of Fort Mitchell to Interstate 275, and on I-75 north from Mitchell Avenue to Paddock Road.

        Construction on I-471 was slowing traffic on Fort Washington Way.

        Kenton County officials said a four-car accident with no injuries occurred between exits 167 and 168 on I-75 south at 2:30 p.m.

        The congestion, however, wasn't stopping Detroit resident Herman Hatlen, a retiree, from traveling to Alabama for an annual family reunion.

        Mr. Hatlen said the traffic was bad, during rush hour, but it made no difference to him.

        “I'm just looking forward to getting there,” he said.

        Weekend travelers also should know that the connection from U.S. 50 westbound (Columbia Parkway) to Fort Washington Way and Third Street will be closed for three weeks beginning today.

        Exit ramps from Columbia Parkway to Fourth and Sixth streets will remain open, as well as the connection to Eggleston Avenue. Through traffic must use either of these routes:

        • Eggleston and Pete Rose Way to Mehring Way for reconnection with U.S. 50 west (Sixth Street viaduct).

        • Sixth Street through downtown to U.S. 50 west.

        This closure is necessary to make the final connection between the westbound Columbia Parkway and the new Third Street viaduct.


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