Day 5 – Cincinnati to the Gulf Coast A few highlights from the final day of traveling from the Cincinnati area back south toward the Gulf Coast of Florida… The start of the morning has us heading north from the Covington area back into Cincinnati over the Brent Spence Bridge. Opened to traffic in 1963, this double-deck cantilever bridge carries Interstate 71 and Interstate 75 traffic from Kentucky into the western downtown area of Cincinnati, where the two interstates depart for Columbus (Interstate 71) and Dayton (Interstate 75), respectively. A study is currently underway to improve traffic flow and to replace the existing Brent Spence bridge. More than likely, a new structure will be built to replace the almost 47 year old bridge spanning the Ohio River.
Part of the trek around the Cincinnati area involved traveling Interstate 471. The short 5.75 mile expressway connects Interstate 71 in downtown Cincinnati with Interstate 275 and U.S. Highway 27 in Kentucky east of Covington and Newport. Originally planned in the 1960’s to connect Covington and Newport as the Riverside Expressway, Interstate 471 saw several changes in its controversial routing before being built in its current location. An interesting note about the expressway, the portion south of the Interstate 275 interchange is actually signed as Interstate 471, and not as Kentucky 471, its hidden route designation south of the greater Cincinnati beltway. So, the question must be asked, exactly where does Interstate 471 end? Most would say at the interchange with Interstate 275 but signs show otherwise…
The Smart Fix project along Interstate 40 between exits 388A (James White Parkway) and 389 (Hall of Fame Drive)in Knoxville, Tennessee is now complete and opened to traffic, as of June 12, 2009, 18 days ahead of schedule.1 The 14-month closure resulted in mainline Interstate 40 through traffic being rerouted onto Interstate 640 to avoid the construction area. The project included the widening of Interstate 40 into a six-lane urban arterial with four auxiliary lanes, rehabilitation and reconstruction of 13 bridges and other improvements, and a complete renovation of the interchange with Tennessee 158 (James White Parkway) at Exit 388A.
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