Will a new bridge span eliminate congestion?

A:

No. Even using the toll advocates' assumptions, there would still be 708,000 hours of congestion in the Brent Spence corridor per year. The total commute time saved by a new span would be 2.8 minutes per day.

Advocates of the Corridor Plan understand that it will not resolve congestion:

“The way Cincinnati is laid out, the more lanes you build on 75, the more traffic you draw because you have the Norwood Lateral, you have Cross County Highway, you have a parallel route with 71,” [Ohio Department of Transportation’s Brent Spence project manager Stefan] Spinosa said. “We could continue to build lanes on 75 but they would fill because of the nature of the traffic network in the region.”

Ohio and Kentucky could have planned to build up to seven lanes in each direction but chose not to, Spinosa said.

“The plan is to build one additional lane, do interchange improvements, then at that point … there is a mass transit component that would need to come online at some point in the future to address any future demand,” he said.

What will happen on the new Brent Spence when more traffic comes to I-75?, Cincinnati Business Courier, March 30, 2015

Congestion at 275:

The Brent Spence Bridge Corridor plan will disrupt the interstate system further south. Should the expected increase in traffic materialize, the 1-275 interchange will become the new bottleneck; the billions of dollars spent on the corridor will only shift congestion a few miles deeper into Kentucky. Notably, access to the airport and key logistical centers in Kentucky will suffer as I-275 becomes a parking lot.

The Corridor Plan expands the Bridge from four lanes to eight, with additional lanes available during rush hour.

Source: Brent Spence Bridge Project Options Analysis, September 2013

Those 8+ lanes reduce to 3 as you approach I-275. There is no plan to add additional capacity from I-275 to the I-75/71 split in Richwood, necessary for Kentucky to benefit from the Corridor Project. The expansion of the interstate from to Richwood would take considerable time and money -- estimates place the cost at over a billion dollars in additional spending.

Congestion Caused by Tolls:

Toll advocates believe that many people will initially divert to other bridges to avoid paying tolls, but will some eventually trickle back to the Brent Spence as those other bridges become congested. That process will disrupt regional transportation patterns for decades, and will leave the rest of our road network with a significantly higher equilibrium congestion.

 

 Source:Brent Spence Bridge Project Options Analysis, September 2013

 


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