Saturday, December 08, 2001

Roadwork complete on I-471

Crews remove barrels from northbound side

By Ray Schaefer
Enquirer Contributor

        The orange barrels are gone from the Big Mac bridge.

        The best news thousands of Tristate drivers got Friday was that almost seven months of construction on Interstate 471 was finally finished. Work on the $16 million project on both sides of I-471 ended with completion Friday evening of the northbound side of I-471 from the Daniel Carter Beard (Big Mac) Bridge at the Kentucky line to the I-471/I-71 interchange.

        During the project, traffic on the bridge and at nearby exits had slowed to a standstill in both directions.

        “It ends a lot of frustration,” said Kim Patton, spokeswoman for the Ohio Department of Transportation office in Lebanon.

        And it is something Party Source general manager Jon Stiles of Bellevue and other businesspeople and commuters have been waiting to hear.

        “I know people at Newport on the Levee and the Aquarium are going to be happy,” Mr. Stiles said. “They're identifying (I-471) as the way to get there.”

        The work consisted of replacing all the concrete on both sides of the road.

        Though Mr. Stiles said his business did not suffer major losses, he said decreases usually happened between 5 p.m. and 7 p.m., when motorists battled construction and rush hour.

        The southbound side of the interstate opened Wednesday. Linda Roll, supervisor of the ARTIMIS traffic control center downtown, watched on a large television screen as workers on the north side quickly wrapped up their work.

        “I just see them moving barrels,” Ms. Roll said Friday afternoon. “Some of the people on the bridge are running around.”


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