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Streetcar to Newport, Licking River Bridge Project Among OKI's List

The Ohio Kentucky Indiana Regional Council of Governments (OKI) is updating its regional transportation plan through the year 2050, and it includes a possible extension of the Cincinnati streetcar system into Newport at a cost of nearly $80 million.

The 2050 plan, which includes a broad range of transportation projects in our local regions of Ohio, Kentucky, and Indiana, is expected to be approved by OKI's board of directors on Thursday. The list does not guarantee that any particular project will be funded, only that it would be eligible for federal funding.

The Brent Spence Bridge project is included again in the plan, which is updated every four years.

The proposed Cincinnati Eastern Bypass is not.

"The list of recommended roadway projects is fiscally constrained, meaning the expected available funding is sufficient to construct or implement them," OKI explains on its website.

More from OKI:

"An estimated $18.89 billion (B) ($11.90B in Ohio, $6.59B in Kentucky, and $0.40B in Indiana) is expected to be available over the 30 year planning period of 2020 to 2050. These revenues are a mix of formula and non-formula funds. Formula based funds are those that OKI or other local governments receive on an ongoing, annual basis and are therefore, repetitive and predictable. It is assumed that the non-formula based expenditures will continue at approximately the same levels plus some growth for inflation."

Some project highlights in addition to the streetcar expansion and Brent Spence Bridge:

The full Kentucky list can be found here.

I-471 exit at KY 8 in Newport: Construct a new southbound off-ramp with a possible cost of more than $60 million.

Fourth Street Bridge between Covington and Newport: Reconstruct and widen to dour lanes and multi-path use at a possible cost of about $49 million.

275 Interchange at I-71/75: At a cost of more than $237 million, improve safety, mobility and operations, including correcting any geometric deficiencies at the junction of I-75 and I-275 and its system-to-system ramps.

275 interchange at Wilder: Improve safety and reduce congestion at the I 275 interchange with KY 9 (AA Hwy) at a cost of more than $195 million.

Burlington Pike widening from two to four lanes with a multi-use path for bicycles, pedestrians, and vehicles. Possible cost: $44.36 million.

Camp Ernst Road widening from two to four lanes with multi-use path to improve safety and mobility. Possible cost: $29.66 million.

CVG Loop Trail: Complete remaining segments of the CVG Loop Trail along the northern parameter of CVG Airport. Possible cost: $10.57 million.

Turkeyfoot Road Interchange Modifications and additional lanes on ramps and Turkeyfoot Road as described in the pending Interchange Modification Report (IMR) publication. Possible cost: $28.97 million.

Turkeyfoot and Dudley roads: Improve safety and reduce congestion along KY 1303 (Turkeyfoot Road) from Dudley Road to US 25 (Dixie Hwy) at more than $34 million.

Trails: Riverfront Commons along Highway Avenue and in Ludlow are included, at costs of about $2 million total, as separate projects. The Licking River Greenway Trail in Covington would also include a new trail atop the levee from East 8th and Garrard streets to East 15th Street and Eastern Avenue at a cost of about $320,000. A pedestrian/bicycle bridge across the Licking River from Summit Drive in Covington to around Frederick's Landing in Wilder is also in the plan at a cost of $3.49 million.

Hands Pike reconstruction: From Crystal Lake to Otter Drive, a reconstruction with minor widening of existing two lanes, and construction of sidewalks, crosswalks, and signage. Additional phases would replace a bridge and pavement. In all, the plan includes roughly $30 million in work for Hands Pike.High-trafficked bus routes: From Covington Transit Center to Ft. Wright TANK headquarters, create a high-frequency bus transit corridor, paint sharrows or shared lane markings. Transit signal preemption.

Riviera Drive in Bellevue: Improve the intersection of KY 8 and Riviera Drive in Bellevue to reduce congestion. Cost: $7.72 million.

Taylor Mill Road to Decoursey Pike: Reconstruct and widen to 4 lanes on new alignment; include multi-modes. Possible cost: $116.34 million.

There are many more projects on the list, which can be seen in full here.

-Michael Monks, editor & publisher