Eastern Corridor proposal upsets Mariemont residents

MARIEMONT, OH (FOX19) - Officials with the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) traveled to Mariemont on Tuesday. Their visit was to hear public comments about a proposal that will take the Eastern Corridor project through the Village of Mariemont.

The Eastern Corridor is a $1.4 billion proposed roadway, designed to ease traffic congestion, improve air quality, and, according to officials, provide a better way for people to get from the east side to downtown Cincinnati.

Up until about a year ago, the new highway was going to run south of the Little Miami River and across the Ohio River at Horseshoe Bend, near Fairfax.

Then, six months ago, ODOT officials changed their mind and now may have the road running through a popular 80-acre park in Mariemont.

"It's the South 80 Gardens and Trails Park," said Mariemont mayor, Dan Policastro. "[Losing the park] would be just devastating to the Village of Mariemont."

ODOT officials say the Eastern Corridor will benefit residents living in areas like Mount Washington, Anderson Township and the Eastgate area, who cannot access I-71 from State Route 32.

"We're hoping that through our planning study, that we hope to have complete in a year from now, we'll be able to come up with something that the community can be proud of," said ODOT Planning and Engineering Administrator, Joe Vogel.

Mariemont officials say a highway that cuts through their area will disrupt their way of life.

"We just hope ODOT changes their mind, and they do the right thing," said Policastro.

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