The Cincy Eastern Bypass is our region’s highest priority transportation project. Scroll Down.
The Citizens for the Cincy Eastern Bypass is a bipartisan group of Political and Business Leaders, and other Citizens across the Greater Cincinnati Region. We support the immediate planning and construction of the Cincy Eastern Bypass because of its very high regional transportation and economic value. We believe that it is a vital project for my community that must be built now, regardless of the final solution to the Brent Spence Corridor Project.
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About The Bypass
Greater Cincinnati region’s highest priority transportation project.
THE PROBLEM IS our largest transportation arteries, I-75, I-71 and I-275, are clogged and getting worse. Daily we face the complete transportation blockage called gridlock. The adjacent map shows OKI’s projections for 2040 gridlock if significant new highway thru-traffic capacity is not added.
THE OKI/ODOT $4.8 Billion, $80M/mi, plan to alleviate this gridlock is to add one lane each way to I-75 from Dayton, OH to Walton, KY. Included in this plan is a new Ohio River Bridge added next to the existing Brent Spence, which stays in service. OKI/ODOT knows that this very expensive one lane addition to I-75 will somewhat help, but not eliminate, the very serious congestion on I-75. Other interstate routes remain clogged. The I-275 to Dayton, OH portion of this one-lane addition to I-75 is complete and already has congestion problems. By the time the rest of OKI’s one lane addition to I-75 is complete, it will be clogged again. Trying to unclog our transportation arteries by only using existing routes is proving to be a terribly expensive and fruitless exercise.
OUR CLOGGED TRANSPORTATION ARTERIES NEED A BYPASS – THE CINCY EASTERN BYPASS. For those traveling through our region on I-75, the Bypass will add only 6 miles to their trip and saves time. This is especially true for the tens of thousands of 18-wheeler trucks traveling through our region daily. OKI predicts that truck traffic will increase three times as fast as car traffic in the future. Adding the Cincy Eastern Bypass will substantially improve traffic flow capacity and driving safety on I-75, I-71, and Eastern I-275. This improvement will be accomplished by diverting traffic, including most 18-wheelers, from the existing interstate routes to the Eastern Bypass (see map next page). A major component is the diversion of regional thru-traffic around our region on the Bypass rather than continuing to drive through the middle of our region on I-75, I-71, and I-275. Per OKI, approximately one-fourth of the traffic that crosses the Brent Spence is regional thru-traffic, which does not stop in our region. Diverting one fourth of the traffic around the region is equivalent to adding one lane of capacity on the Brent Spence and I-75/I-71 for use by local travelers. Regional thru-traffic doubles during some vacation and holiday periods.
THE EASTERN BYPASS’ ADDITIONAL BENEFITS are more than enough reason on their own to build the Bypass fast. These additional benefits include: relieving traffic congestion along many of our Eastern highways and substantial improvement in transportation access, economic growth, and job opportunities for citizens in the Eastern part of our region. The Bypass is vital to the future success of our Greater Cincinnati Region.
THE EASTERN BYPASS COST is estimated to be $1.1 Billion ($16M/mi) which is less than one-fourth the cost of OKI’s plan to add one lane to I-75 in our region. Bypass cost estimates are based on a cost analysis of comparable, recently-built projects, including our region’s new Butler County Veterans Highway and TN840, the new outer southern bypass in Nashville, TN.
IF TENNESSEE CAN DO IT, WHY CAN’T WE? Tennessee completed the 78-mile TN-840 Expressway in 2012 at a total cost of $755M ($9.7M/mile). This “outer loop” plays a vital role in Nashville’s regional connectivity and economic growth. An investment in the Cincy Eastern Bypass is critical for our region to remain economically competitive with other Midwestern and Southeastern cities.
Why Build the CEB fast, can’t it wait?
There are two major reasons to build it fast. First, if the CEB is built now its construction will delay, reduce the cost of, or eliminate other expensive planned highway projects. Second, if the Bypass is not built soon, right of way will be blocked because of new development.
The Bypass seems so much longer, why would someone use it?
The shortest distance between two points is a straight line, however I-75 is not a straight line. It has many twists and bends, steep hills, an intense amount of interchanges, and often congestion. The Bypass is only 6 miles longer for those traveling I-75 through our region. It will divert regional thru traffic, especially 18-wheeler trucks. The Cincy Eastern Bypass is to be built to 70 MPH interstate highway standards. The routing is generally through open, mostly rural, areas. The steepest bypass grades are 3.5%. The dangerous I-75 “Cut in the Hill” grade is 5%. Routing is chosen to minimize the Bypass’ added mileage compared to existing I-75 and I-71 routing through our region and to minimize costs. Engineered CAD drawings for preliminary grading and alignment are complete and verify that these design objectives can be met.
How did you arrive at the cost of $1.1B?
Cost estimates are 2018 inflation adjusted total costs and include preliminary and final design, meeting regulatory requirements, right of way acquisition, utility relocation, and construction costs. Preliminary cost estimates have been completed in substantial detail using the Bypass preliminary engineering CAD drawings. To arrive at a cost estimate, the Bypass was compared to the costs of other recently built and comparable expressway and major river bridge projects, including TN-840 and Cincinnati’s local Butler County Veterans Highway. The total cost estimate for the CEB is $1.1 Billion. Costs have been reviewed and validated by respected civil engineers including Richard Crist and others. Richard is a registered professional engineer and former contractor having built more than 300 miles of expressway, past president of the Kentucky Highway Contractor’s Association, and member of the Kentucky Transportation Hall of Fame.
Haven’t some Transportation Officials said the Bypass will cost $5.0 Billion or more?
Yes they have. Here is a simple question for those transportation officials. Tennessee completed the 78-mile TN-840 expressway in 2012 for a total cost of $755 Million or $9.7 M/mile ($1.2 B or $15 M/mile in inflation adjusted 2018 costs). Why would the 68-mile Cincy Eastern Bypass cost $5.0 Billion or $74 M/mile? That puts the Cincy Eastern Bypass costing 5 times as much per mile as TN-840? How does this make sense?
Won’t the planned I-75 improvements fix the problem?
While they will help I-75, they will not fix I-75 and certainly not the regional congestion problem. From the 2011 OKI Regional Freight Study,”Traffic forecasts for the regional highway network suggest that most roadways will experience severe peak-hour congestion by 2030. This includes all sections of I-71, I-74, I-75 and most of I-275. These forecasts include the improvements underway on I-75 (Mill Creek Expressway and Thru the Valley projects) and the most recent investment study for I-71 from downtown Cincinnati to Kings Mill, which, by OKI policy, sets capacity at three lanes in each direction.” For Kentucky there are now 4 southbound lanes on the Brent Spence that funnel down to 3 lanes on I-75/71 at I-275 in Kentucky. Under the Brent Spence Corridor proposal, 8 lanes at the Brent Spence will funnel down to the same 3 lanes at I-275. The Cincinnati evening rush hour traffic will fill the 8-lane bridge going into Northern Kentucky and “park” on I-75/71 as it funnels down from the 8-lane bridge to 3 lanes at I-275. This design flaw is not acceptable.
Why do we need a bypass, we already have I-275?
If an I-75 through-the-region traveler were to use I-275 East as a bypass, they would be adding 17 miles to their trip (I-275 West adds 20 miles) and would often encounter gridlock. By comparison, this same traveler using the Eastern Bypass would add only 6 miles, reduce travel time, and encounter great driving conditions.
In The News
Supporters of constructing a proposed eastern bypass highway have launched a digital, print and billboard advertising campaign aimed at building support for their idea.
GRANT COUNTY, Ky. (WKRC) — Kentucky’s new governor wants to look at building a 70 mile bypass instead of replacing the Brent Spence Bridge.
At the Campbell County Mayors Meeting in Newport on Tuesday, Greg Fischer of Fischer Homes and son of home builder Henry Fischer presented a pitch for an alternative to the proposed Brent Spence Bridge project called the Eastern Regional Bypass.
In my 50 years of building roads and bridges in Kentucky and West Virginia I have never seen so much inaccurate information regarding our possible transportation solutions.