Uptown Transportation Developments Gain Momentum
Shortly after the Uptown Consortium announced the potential impact of building an interchange at Interstate 71 at Martin Luther King Drive, the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) approved $3 million in funding to continue design of the interchange.
The ODOT Transportation Review Advisory Council awarded funds to the city of Cincinnati following their application for design and environmental study funding. Just days before, on May 31, the Uptown Consortium revealed the results of an economic impact study by the University of Cincinnati Economics Center.
The study found that the interchange construction alone will have a $101 million economic impact. The interchange would also have an economic impact of more than $325 million of private investment, producing an economic impact of more than $460 million in Hamilton County and another $290 million throughout the rest of Ohio.
Fiscal benefits of the MLK interchange and resulting private development include more than $155 million in tax revenue for Ohio, more than $20 million in sales tax revenue for Hamilton County, more than $33 million in earnings tax revenue for Cincinnati, and millions of dollars in property tax revenues.
According to the study, 2,000 jobs from new business attraction and spin-off development could be created as well as:
• 2,500 to 3,000 jobs from the growth of major Uptown employers, and
• 1,900 to 2,300 jobs from retention of businesses that the City and State could be at risk of losing.
The study stated the proposed interchange would also provide major health and safety benefits. By reducing travel times to trauma centers at University Hospital and Children's Hospital, the interchange will help save lives and reduce health care costs for an estimated 17,000 trauma/emergency patients a year.
Other local leaders see the proposed interchange as an attractive gateway and better connection to downtown, and as a catalyst for residential reinvestment.
Since the economic impact study was released, Uptown Consortium has scheduled a Community Development Subcommittee to review the findings and discuss an in-depth study of the urban corridor.