Thursday, August 10, 2000

FWW connections to open ahead of schedule

Highway will be linked to Columbia Pky., I-71

By James Pilcher
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        More good news for commuters who use Fort Washington Way: the connections between Columbia Parkway west and both Third Street and Interstate 71 west will open four days ahead of schedule.

        In addition, officials overseeing the $314 million project Wednesday announced that an extra lane would be added to Fort Washington Way westbound when the highway reopens Monday.

        Previously, officials had promised only two lanes in each direction on Fort Washington Way and that the Columbia Parkway connections wouldn't open until Aug. 18.

        The Columbia Parkway connection to Fort Washington Way hasn't been open for two years, since shortly after construction began. Initial plans called for contractors to use older parts of the Third Street viaduct as a staging area while work was done on the new parts.

        But planners have found a way to route traffic over the old viaduct, allowing the exit to be reopened four days early.

        Those exiting from I-71 south to Third Street will have traffic from Columbia Parkway entering from their left, prohibiting a left turn onto Broadway.

        Right turns will still be possible, though, and those exiting to Third Street from Columbia Parkway (U.S. 50) will be able to turn left on Broadway.

        Because Columbia Parkway can now exit onto Fort Washington Way west, an additional travel lane is being opened on the highway to prevent weaving. The right shoulder will be eliminated, however, until all four lanes are opened later this year.

        Only two lanes on Fort Washington Way eastbound will open on Monday; the other two won't open until later this year.

        The entire highway between the Brent Spence Bridge and the Lytle Tunnel will be closed from 11 p.m. Friday until 5 a.m. Monday to finish the work. Third Street also will be closed during that time to allow workers to change the direction from west-east to east-west.


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