Interstate 71 (I-71) is a north-south (physically northeast–southwest) Interstate Highway in the Great Lakes/Midwestern and Southeastern region of the United States. Its southern terminus is at an interchange with I-64 and I-65 (the Kennedy Interchange) in Louisville, Kentucky. Its northern terminus is at an interchange with I-90 in Cleveland, Ohio. I-71 runs concurrently with I-75 from a point about 20 miles (32 km) south of Cincinnati, Ohio, into downtown Cincinnati. Almost three-quarters of the route lies east of I-75, thereby putting it out of its proper place in the Interstate grid.
I-71 highlighted in red
|Maintained by KYTC and ODOT|
|Length||343.78 mi (553.26 km)|
|Restrictions||No hazmats or explosives allowed in the Lytle Tunnel|
|South end||I-64 / I-65 in Louisville, KY|
| I-75 from Walton, KY to Cincinnati, OH|
I-70 / SR 315 in Columbus, OH
I-76 / US 224 in Seville, OH
I-271 near Medina, OH
I-80 / Ohio Turnpike in Strongsville, OH
|North end||I-90 / I-490 in Cleveland, OH|
|Counties||KY: Jefferson, Oldham, Henry, Trimble, Carroll, Gallatin, Boone, Kenton|
OH: Hamilton, Warren, Clinton, Greene, Fayette, Madison, Pickaway, Franklin, Delaware, Morrow, Richland, Ashland, Wayne, Medina, Cuyahoga
While I-71 is designated a north–south highway, it is a major east–west route for cross-country traffic. It links I-80 and I-90 to I-70, and ultimately (via I-65) links to I-40. The highway goes through the states of Kentucky and Ohio and the metropolitan areas of Louisville, Cincinnati, Columbus, Ohio, and Cleveland.
In Kentucky, I-71 begins east of Downtown Louisville at the Kennedy Interchange, where it meets I-64 and I-65. This interchange is sometimes called the "Spaghetti Junction". From Louisville, it roughly follows the Ohio River in a diagonal path toward Northern Kentucky. Between Louisville and Cincinnati, I-71 is largely a four-lane highway, except for the approach to Kentucky Speedway in Sparta in which it runs three lanes each way for about 2 miles.
Near the town of Carrollton, there are signs marking the location of a tragic accident that occurred on May 14, 1988, when a drunk driver crossed the median and struck a church bus full of children and teenagers, causing the bus' fuel tank to ignite into flames and killing 27 people on board. It is one of the worst bus accidents in state and national history.
After having run 77 miles (124 km) from Louisville, I-71 merges with Interstate 75 near Walton after which it intersects Interstate 275, the Cincinnati beltway. After passing through Covington, the freeway crosses the Ohio River via the lower level of the Brent Spence Bridge (while the southbound direction uses the upper level) and continues into Cincinnati.
This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it. (May 2008)
In Cincinnati, I-71 splits immediately from I-75 and heads due east onto Fort Washington Way, where it continues through downtown Cincinnati concurrently with US-50 for less than a mile. Just east of downtown, US-50 splits from I-71 and continues east; I-71 bends north and receives Interstate 471, a spur from southeast of the city. I-71 then heads in a general northeast direction through urban Cincinnati and into its surrounding suburbs. After another interchange with the Interstate 275 beltway, the freeway leaves the metropolitan area and heads towards Columbus. It continues northeast until it reaches South Lebanon, Ohio, where it begins cutting east across the flat plains of southwest Ohio. The freeway crosses the Little Miami River on the Jeremiah Morrow Bridge, which is a continuous truss bridge and the tallest bridge in Ohio at 239 feet above the river. I-71 heads towards Columbus then intersects with the bypass I-270 before heading north into urban Columbus, where it junctions I-70. About a mile north of the I-70 junction, it intersects with I-670. After another interchange with the I-270 bypass, the highway exits out of Columbus and continues north until near Delaware, where it again turns northeast. Beginning its path to Cleveland, I-71 enters the rolling farm country on the edges of the Allegheny Plateau. It continues in this fashion to Lodi/Westfield Center and its junction with I-76, which provides access to Akron. Heading north to Medina, it meets the terminus of I-271. The highway then continues north into urban Cuyahoga County and Cleveland's suburbs, intersecting the Ohio Turnpike/I-80. Passing Cleveland Hopkins International Airport, I-71 meets I-480 and enters Cleveland's west side, continuing on to downtown. It junctions with State Route 176 and terminates at Interstate 90 on the Innerbelt.
The first section of I-71 in Louisville opened in December 1966 between its terminus at Spaghetti Junction and Zorn Avenue, its first exit. Its junction with I-264 opened in July 1968, and the complete Kentucky portion of the interstate was opened to the public in July 1969. At that point, it replaced U.S. Route 42 as the primary link between Cincinnati and Louisville.
Much of Interstate 71 in Ohio was intended to be State Route 1. State Route 1 was originally planned in the 1950s as a second Ohio Turnpike extending southwest to northeast across the state. It was planned to run from Cincinnati to Conneaut and connect with an extension built across the panhandle of Pennsylvania to the New York State Thruway. As the highway was being planned, the Federal Aid Highway Act of 1956 was enacted, and the project was converted from a toll road to a freeway. It was designated as State Route 1, since the Interstate Highway numbering system had not yet been implemented. Portions of the freeway began to be completed and opened in 1959 with the new Interstate Highway funding, and they were marked as State Route 1 as well as with their new Interstate Highway number. Since large gaps existed along the corridor where no freeway had yet been completed, existing two-lane or four-lane highways were also designated as State Route 1 in order to complete the route. The State Route 1 signage was removed in 1966 as the Interstate Highway numbers adequately marked the route by then and the state highway numbering was superfluous.
In Columbus, the portion of Interstate 71 that bounds Worthington's eastern edge was originally called the North Freeway. Costing US$13.8 million, it was constructed south from Route 161, arriving at 11th Avenue by August 1961. It took another year to construct the portion between 11th Avenue and 5th Avenue, mainly due to the need to construct a massive underpass under the Pennsylvania Railroad's Grogan Yard. Today, only two tracks cross the viaduct, and the rest of the structure supports a large, weedy field. By August 1962, the freeway had reached Fifth Avenue, and it reached downtown in November 1962.
Interstate 71 was originally planned to follow the Innerbelt Freeway northward from its current northern terminus to the Cleveland Memorial Shoreway at Dead Man's Curve when Interstate 90 was planned to continue westward from there along the Shoreway.
Upon its completion, I-71 replaced State Route 3 as the primary highway link between Cincinnati, Columbus, and Cleveland.
Between 2004 and 2006, the interchange at milepost 121 in the far northern reaches of Columbus was reconstructed to allow access to the eastern extension of Gemini Place. Before that, it was a simple diamond interchange with Polaris Parkway (Ohio State Route 750).
Rebuilding and widening programEdit
In 1999, the state of Ohio began a 10-year, $500 million project to improve I-71 between Columbus and Cleveland. The plans did not include widening the 25-mile stretch in Delaware and Morrow counties, calling for patching that section instead. At that time, state transportation officials said they didn't plan to widen that section for two reasons: Traffic studies didn't support the widening, and there was no money for the project. But ODOT officials eventually gave in under pressure from elected officials and business owners to widen the remaining 25-mile stretch of I-71 from just north of the U.S. 36/Ohio 37 interchange in Delaware County to the Morrow/Richland county line. The reconstruction and widening on the last 25-mile stretch of I-71 in Delaware and Morrow counties began in spring 2012 and the work was completed in summer 2015 at a cost of $144 million.
|Kentucky||Jefferson||Louisville||0.000||0.000||1||I-64 / I-65 – St. Louis, Lexington, Nashville, Indianapolis||Signed as exits 1A (west) southbound and 1B (east) northbound; no access from 71 south to 64 east; no number for I-65; I-64 exit 6; I-65 exit 137; southern terminus|
|Indian Hills||4.966||7.992||5||I-264 (Watterson Expressway)||I-264 exits 23A-B; tri-stack interchange|
|Louisville||9.063||14.585||9||I-265 / KY 841 (Gene Snyder Freeway) to US 42||Signed as exits 9A (south) and 9B (north); I-265 exits 35A-B|
|Oldham||||14.488||23.316||14||KY 329 – Crestwood, Pewee Valley|
|||17.478||28.128||17||KY 146 – Buckner, Crestwood, Pewee Valley|
|||18.507||29.784||18||KY 393 – Buckner|
|La Grange||21.869||35.195||22||KY 53 – La Grange, Ballardsville|
|Henry||Pendleton||27.840||44.804||28||KY 153 to KY 146 – Sligo, New Castle|
|Campbellsburg||33.505||53.921||34||US 421 – Campbellsburg, New Castle, Bedford|
||No major junctions|
|Carroll||||42.802||68.883||43||KY 389 to KY 55 – Prestonville, English|
|||44.312||71.313||44||KY 227 – Worthville, Carrollton|
|Gallatin||||54.980||88.482||55||KY 1039 to KY 465 – Vevay||Serves Kentucky Speedway|
|||56.673||91.206||57||KY 35 – Sparta, Warsaw|
|Glencoe||61.774||99.416||62||US 127 – Glencoe, Owenton|
|Boone||||72.195||116.187||72||KY 14 – Verona|
|||77.724||125.085||77||I-75 south – Lexington||South end of I-75 overlap; exit numbers switch to follow I-75's mileposts, I-75 exit 173.|
|||79.556||128.033||175||KY 338 – Richwood|
|Florence||82.275||132.409||178||KY 536 (Mt. Zion Road)|
|84.298||135.664||180||US 42 / US 127 – Union, Florence|
|84.694||136.302||180A||Mall Road||Southbound exit and northbound entrance; serves Florence Mall; former KY 3157|
|85.449||137.517||181||KY 18 – Florence, Burlington|
|86.652||139.453||182||KY 1017 (Turfway Road)|
|Kenton||Erlanger||87.967||141.569||184||KY 236 – Erlanger||Signed as exits 184A (east) and 184B (west) southbound|
|88.900||143.071||185||I-275 to I-471 – Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport||I-275 exit 84.|
|Fort Mitchell||90.539||145.708||186||KY 371 (Buttermilk Pike)|
|91.913||147.920||188||US 25 / US 42 / US 127 (Dixie Highway) – Fort Mitchell|
|Fort Wright||92.870||149.460||189||KY 1072 (Kyles Lane) – Fort Wright, Park Hills|
|191||12th Street (KY 1120), Pike Street (US 25 / US 42 / US 127) – Covington|
|192||5th Street (KY 8) – Covington, Newport|
|Brent Spence Bridge|
Kentucky–Ohio state line
|I-75 north / US 50 west (River Road) / Fifth Street – Dayton||North end of I-75 overlap; south end of US 50 overlap|
|1B||Second Street, Third Street – Downtown Cincinnati, Riverfront||Exit is now a numbered exit since 2018 as exit 1B.|
|1.11||1.79||US 50 east (Columbia Parkway) to I-471 / US 52||North end of US 50 overlap; northbound exit and southbound entrance|
Sharp turn (40 mph or 64 km/h) in both directions
|1.99||3.20||1A||I-471 south – Newport||Southbound exit and northbound entrance. Now a numbered exit in 2018 as exit 1A going Southbound.|
|2||US 42 Gilbert Ave./8th Street & Reading Rd.|
|McMillan Street||Northbound entrance only|
|3A||William Howard Taft Road||Southbound exit only|
|3B||Martin Luther King Drive – Level I Trauma Center||Signed as exit 3 northbound|
|5||Montgomery Road (US 22 / SR 3), Dana Avenue|
|6||SR 561 (Edwards Road, Smith Road)|
|Cincinnati||8.04||12.94||8A||Ridge Avenue south||Northbound exit and southbound entrance|
|8B||SR 562 – Norwood||Signed as exit 7 southbound|
|Columbia Township||8.51||13.70||8C||Ridge Avenue north||Northbound exit and southbound entrance|
|8.75||14.08||8||Kennedy Avenue, Ridge Avenue||Southbound exit and northbound entrance|
|9||Red Bank Road – Fairfax|
|Silverton||10.68||17.19||10||Stewart Road||Northbound exit and southbound entrance|
|Sycamore Township||11.81||19.01||11||Kenwood Road||Northbound exit and southbound entrance|
|12.44||20.02||12||US 22 / SR 3 (Montgomery Road)|
|Montgomery||14.13||22.74||14||SR 126 (Ronald Reagan Cross County Highway)|
|17||I-275 to SR 32 / I-75||I-275 exit 49 eastbound & 49A-B westbound; signed as exits 17A (east) & 17B (west) southbound.|
|19||Mason Montgomery Road, Fields Ertel Road|
|Warren||Mason||23.53||37.87||24||Western Row Road, Kings Island Drive, Innovation Way – Kings Island||Signed as Western Row Road and Kings Island Drive northbound and Western Row Road and Innovation Way southbound; originally constructed as northbound exit and southbound entrance only but expanded to a full intersection in 2019.|
|25.30||40.72||25||SR 741 north (Kings Mills Road) – Mason|
|28.33||45.59||28||SR 48 – South Lebanon, Lebanon|
|Turtlecreek Township||32.56||52.40||32||SR 123 – Morrow, Lebanon|
|Washington Township||36.74||59.13||36||Wilmington Road|
|Clinton||Chester Township||45.11||72.60||45||SR 73 – Waynesville, Wilmington|
|50||US 68 – Xenia, Wilmington|
|Greene||Jefferson Township||58.01||93.36||58||SR 72 – Sabina, Jamestown|
|Fayette||Octa||65.33||105.14||65||US 35 (SR 435) – Xenia, Washington Court House|
|Jeffersonville||69.49||111.83||69||SR 41 / SR 734 – South Solon, Jeffersonville, Washington Court House|
|Paint Township||75.03||120.75||75||SR 38 – Bloomingburg, Midway|
|Madison||Pleasant Township||84.27||135.62||84||SR 56 – Mount Sterling, London|
||No major junctions|
|Franklin||Pleasant Township||94.15||151.52||94||US 62 / SR 3 – Grove City, Orient, Harrisburg|
|Jackson Township||97.16||156.36||97||SR 665 (London-Groveport Road)||Interchange fully opened August 17, 2012|
|Grove City||98.85||159.08||99||Hoover Road – Grove City||Proposed|
|100.60||161.90||100||Stringtown Road – Grove City|
|Jackson Township||101.68||163.64||101||I-270 – Dayton, Wheeling||Signed as exits 101A (east) & 101B (west) northbound; I-270 exits 55A-B.|
|Columbus||103.86||167.15||104||SR 104 / Frank Road|
|106.33||171.12||106A||I-70 west – Dayton||Northbound exit and southbound entrance; I-70 exit 99A|
|106B||SR 315 north – Worthington||No exit number southbound|
|—||I-70 west – Dayton||Southbound exit and northbound entrance; south end of I-70 overlap; I-70 exit 99A; exit numbers switch to follow I-70's mileposts|
|100A||US 23 south (High Street) / Front Street||No northbound entrance; southbound exit is via exit 100B|
|107.41||172.86||100B||US 23 north (Fourth Street) / Livingston Avenue (US 33)|
|107||I-70 east||Left exit southbound; north end of I-70 overlap; I-70 exit 101A|
|108.20||174.13||108A||Main Street||No northbound exit|
|108.63||174.82||108B||US 40 (Broad Street)|
|109.16||175.68||109A||I-670 – Airport, Dayton||Northbound exit and southbound entrance; I-670 exit 5; northbound off-ramp to I-670 east includes direct ramp onto Leonard Avenue|
|108.93||175.31||109B||Spring Street – Downtown||Southbound exit and northbound entrance|
|109.61||176.40||109A||I-670 – Airport, Dayton||Southbound exit and northbound entrance; I-670 exit 5|
|110.16||177.29||110A||Fifth Avenue||No northbound exit|
|110.68||178.12||110B||11th Avenue||Access to Linden Primary Care Center|
|111.15||178.88||111||17th Avenue||Access to the Ohio State Fairgrounds & Expo Center, Ohio History Center, and MAPFRE Stadium|
|112.33||180.78||112||Hudson Street||Access to MAPFRE Stadium|
|115.58||186.01||116||Morse Road, Sinclair Road|
|117.53||189.15||117||SR 161 (Dublin-Granville Road)|
|119||I-270 – Dayton, Wheeling||Signed as exits 119A (east) and 119B (west) southbound; I-270 exit 26 westbound, 26A-B eastbound.|
|121||SR 750 west (Polaris Parkway) / Gemini Place / Ikea Way||Eastern terminus of SR 750; access to Polaris Shopping Center|
|Berkshire Township||130.64||210.24||131||US 36 / SR 37 – Delaware, Sunbury|
|Morrow||Bennington Township||140.15||225.55||140||SR 61 – Sunbury, Mount Gilead, Galion|
|151.09||243.16||151||SR 95 – Fredericktown, Mount Gilead|
|165.25||265.94||165||SR 97 – Lexington, Bellville|
|168.81||271.67||169||SR 13 – Mansfield, Bellville|
|Madison Township||172.97||278.37||173||SR 39 – Mansfield, Lucas|
|Mifflin Township||176.91||284.71||176||US 30 – Mansfield, Wooster|
|Ashland||Montgomery Township||186.71||300.48||186||US 250 – Ashland, Wooster|
|Wayne||Congress Township||196.31||315.93||196||SR 301 – West Salem||Northbound exit and southbound entrance|
|197.92||318.52||198||SR 539 – West Salem, Congress|
|Medina||Harrisville Township||203.89||328.13||204||SR 83 – Lodi, Wooster|
|Westfield Township||209.51||337.17||209||I-76 / US 224 – Lodi, Akron||Signed as exits 209A (I-76/US 224 east) and 209B (US 224 west); western terminus of I-76 (Ohio), exit 1 eastbound, 1A-B westbound|
|Medina Township||218.86||352.22||218||SR 18 – Akron, Medina|
|220.71||355.20||220||I-271 north – Erie||Northbound exit and southbound entrance|
|222.91||358.74||222||SR 3 – Hinckley, Medina|
|Brunswick||226.03||363.76||226||SR 303 – Brunswick, Hinckley|
|Cuyahoga||Strongsville||231.26||372.18||231||SR 82 (Royalton Road) – Strongsville, North Royalton||Signed as exits 231A (east) and 231B (west) southbound|
|233.06||375.07||233||I-80 / Ohio Turnpike – Toledo, Youngstown||I-80/OH Turnpike exit 161.|
|Middleburg Heights||234.21||376.92||234||US 42 – Strongsville, Parma Heights|
|235.37||378.79||235||Bagley Road – Berea, Middleburg Heights|
|Brook Park||237.53||382.27||237||Snow Road, Engle Road – Airport||Signed as exits 237A (east) and 237B (west, Engle) southbound|
|238.77||384.26||238||I-480 – Airport, Toledo, Youngstown||I-480 exit 11; northbound exit & southbound entrance.|
|Cleveland||239.26||385.05||239||SR 237 south – Airport, Berea||Southbound left exit and northbound left entrance|
|240.57||387.16||240||West 150th Street|
|241.85||389.22||242A||West 130th Street||Signed as exit 242 southbound|
|242.41||390.12||242B||Bellaire Road||Northbound exit and southbound entrance|
|Cleveland||244.5||393.5||244||Denison Avenue, West 65th Street||Northbound exit and southbound entrance|
|245||US 42 (SR 3 / Pearl Road / West 25th Street) / Fulton Road|
|246.6||396.9||246||SR 176 south – Parma||Southbound exit and northbound entrance|
|247A||I-90 west / I-490 east to I-77 / West 14th Street, Clark Avenue, Steelyard Drive||Northbound exit and southbound entrance; I-90 exit 170B, I-490 exit 1A|
|247.81||398.81||—||I-90 east – Downtown Cleveland||Northern terminus; I-90 exit 170B|
|1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi|
- Carrollton bus disaster, a drunk-driving tragedy involving a school bus that occurred on I-71
- Roads in Louisville, Kentucky
- Sports rivalries involving cities on I-71
- Kentucky Transportation Cabinet, HIS Expanded Milepoint Route Log Extract Archived 2007-11-09 at the Wayback Machine, updated October 31, 2007
- Ohio Department of Transportation Office of Technical Services: Straight Line Diagrams Archived 2003-02-19 at the Wayback Machine, current as of January 1, 2007
- "Route Log and Finder List: Table 1 - Interstate System". FHWA. Retrieved 2007-07-09.
- Kleber, John E., ed. (2001). Encyclopedia of Louisville. p. 418. ISBN 0813128900.
- Ohio Department of Highways. "1957-1958 Biennial Report (excerpt)". Retrieved 2013-02-27.
- urbanohio.com. "Ohio Fuses Two Interchanges in Columbus". Retrieved 2015-06-14.
- Mark Ferenchik. "The Columbus Dispatch - 3rd lane coming to I-71 by 2015". The Columbus Dispatch. Retrieved 4 October 2014.
- Todd Hill. "MansfieldNewsJournal - I-71 widening almost finished". Mansfield News Journal. Retrieved 2015-06-19.
- Smith, Lisa (February 1, 2019). "Will it soon be easy to get off (and then back on) I-71 at Western Row?". WCPO. Retrieved February 3, 2019.
- "Transportation Partners Celebrate Opening of New Southern Gateway" (Press release). Ohio Department of Transportation District 6. 2012-08-16. Retrieved 2013-02-27.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Interstate 71.|
- I-71 on Cincinnati-Transit.net
- Interstate-guide.com: Interstate 71
- Historic photos: 1963 aerial view of I-71 construction between 17th and 5th avenues in Columbus, Ohio Gasoline tanker crash and fire collapses Cleveland Avenue overpass in Columbus, Ohio 6/28/1966 Rebuilding the Cleveland Avenue overpass after it was destroyed by a gasoline tanker fire in 1966