Improvements to interchange will ease Lebanon-area traffic congestion

December 25, 2013 by  

Local, state and regional officials broke ground Tuesday, December 17, to start construction work on a “loop ramp” that should reduce traffic flow at the busy Fields Ertel/Mason-Montgomery interchange. The interchange leads off Interstate 71 in the Lebanon area, and is frequently the site of traffic jams.

The idea for the improvement was first drawn on a cocktail napkin over seven years ago by Dave Young, a Warren County Commissioner. Young’s idea was to create an exit-only lane leading from I-71 northbound, and then circling through a Metro park-and-ride lot, located at the northeast corner of Fields Ertel and Mason-Montgomery. According to Joe Vogel, an Ohio Department of Transportation official in its Lebanon office, the new ramp will lead traffic straight onto Mason-Montgomery, letting northbound drivers completely bypass Fields Ertel.

There are several improvements planned for this particular interchange, which currently frustrates commuters and residents alike. The new ramp, which is estimated to cost $12m, is the “star” of renovations, since it is the one that will create the greatest positive impact. Vogel notes that although it will improve the traffic flow, the interchange will remain somewhat congested.

Approximately 80,000 vehicles pass through the interchange daily, and this volume of traffic makes the new ramp one of the top five most essential transportation programs in the Cincinnati area. Construction is scheduled to begin in March 2014, with a planned completion date of late 2015.

Local officials could work with a flyer printing company to create a mailer for area residents, explaining the construction, the scope of the work, and offering suggestions for alternate routes during construction.