Project to improve travel from Covington to NB I-71/75 to start next week
COVINGTON, Ky. (WXIX) - Kentucky Transportation Cabinet crews will begin work on March 16 for the Texas Turnaround project intended to help drivers coming from Covington and going to Ohio.
The Texas Turnaround pattern is designed in a way that helps traffic move safely and efficiently through highway interchanges.
One interchange Tri-State drivers are familiar with is the 4th Street entrance ramp to I-71/75 north.
Currently, a driver going northbound enters onto I-71/75 north from the 4th Street ramp in Covington. If that driver is going to Ohio via I-75 north, they must cross multiple lanes of traffic.
Chief District Engineer of KYTC’s District 6 office Bob Yeager says the Texas Turnaround “will provide more time for drivers to safely change lanes.”
That new route starts on the 4th Street ramp to southbound I-71/75 and continues onto the exit ramp to Pike Street/12th Street before circling underneath the interstate on the “inner” side of Pike Street and parallel to the current entrance to northbound 1-71/75 from Pike Street, according to KYTC.
In December of 2020, KYTC showed a map of what the traffic pattern would look like.
There will be no traffic signals throughout this movement.
Once it is finished, the entrance ramp from 4th Street to I-71/75 north will be closed permanently.
“The ‘Texas Turnaround’ is a practical, feasible, and cost-effective way to increase safety in a tremendous way by giving drivers more time and space to change lanes,” Covington Mayor Joe Meyer said. “We’re thrilled that KYTC has worked to make this a reality even as the larger discussion continues about how to increase capacity of the Brent Spence and upgrade the Interstates 71-75 crossings over the Ohio River.”
Construction crews will begin setting up the work zone at 10 p.m. on March 16, weather permitting, KYTC announced Tuesday.
The right lane of the ramp from I-71/75 southbound to Pike Street will be closed once crews begin work.
The entrance ramp from 4th Street to I-71/75 northbound will not be closed right away. Timing for that closure and the exit ramp from I-71/75 northbound to 5th Street “will be announced in the coming weeks,” KYTC explained.
Once the northbound exit to 5th Street is temporarily closed, drivers will have to exit at a point further south (12th Street/M.L. King Boulevard), head east, and then turn north on Main Street.
Drivers on Pike Street wanting to head north on the interstate will be directed to southbound I-71/75, the Kyles Lane exit, and then the northbound entrance ramp.
The target date to complete the project is Dec. 1, 2022, according to KYTC.
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