Front Street Bridge to be Replaced as I-70/71 Split Project Continues
The next phase of the Ohio Department of Transportation’s I-70/71 split project is now back on track and scheduled to begin early next year.
As part of that phase, the South Front Street bridge that spans the freeway between the Brewery District and Downtown will be replaced with a new, wider bridge that will feature landscaped sidewalks and a park-like walkway on one side.
ODOT had announced last March that Phase 4R of the project – which includes the new Front Street bridge, a new ramp from I-70 eastbound to West Fulton Street, and improvements to Fulton Street and Livingston Avenue – would be delayed due to pandemic-related funding concerns.
ODOT spokesperson Breanna Badanes said that a more detailed timeline of construction impacts and road closures would probably not be released until this fall, after a contractor is selected.
Badanes also said that Phase 4R has now been combined with Phase 6R, which includes a new ramp from Mound Street to I-71 south, a new bridge over Short Street, and improvements to Mound Street west of Front Street. That phase also adds a lane to the overlapped portion of I-70 west/I-71 south through Downtown.
Two other phases of the $1.4 billion project are currently under construction:
- Phase 2E, which includes the work on I-70 east near Nationwide Children’s Hospital, is scheduled to wrap up this fall.
- Phase 3B, which includes a new East Broad Street bridge and new feeder roads on either side of I-71 (Lester Drive and Elijah Pierce Avenue), will be completed by the summer of 2022.
Bedanes said that the next new segment of the project – Phase 4B – will likely begin in the spring of 2023 and will overlap with the work around Front Street. That phase involves replacing the South High Street, South Third Street and South Fourth Street bridges. Each of those bridges will be widened, with pedestrian amenities added, and the High and Third Street bridges will be built with caps on both sides of the roadway that will have the capacity to hold buildings.
For more information on the I-70/71 split project, which ODOT now calls the Downtown Ramp Up, see www.transportation.ohio.gov.