Cincinnati State President O'Dell Owens wants I-74 ramp open - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

Cincinnati State President says no ramp is no good

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CLIFTON, OH (FOX19) -

A construction project could eliminate an interstate ramp near Cincinnati State, and the school's president O'Dell Owens is not happy.

Part of the plan for Interstate 75 Mill Creek Expressway includes eliminating the I-74 ramp, a main exit from the west side of town to Cincinnati State.

Owens says the exit ramp in question is key for students and staff to access the college, a commuter school. If the ramp is eliminated, many students will have to use the Hopple Street exit, instead.

"The Hopple Street exit already has to deal with all the traffic for the University of Cincinnati, the Clifton area as well as all the hospitals. So, it's really a major issue," said Owens.

However, the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) revealed leaving the ramp will set the project schedule back and could create safety concerns.

The project was designed and approved over five years ago, back in 2007.

"We were only 7,000 students [in 2007]. Now, we have peaked. Cincinnati State's had as many as 11,000 students on campus. So, we're a different school at this point," argued Owens.

Owens said he's trying to work with ODOT, but since the project has already been approved, there are difficult hurdles ahead.

 Construction on the project is slated to begin later this spring.

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