October 2023
Mt. Zion, Richwood and I-71/75 Paving Projects Wrap Up
Since 2019, you’ve probably been accustomed to orange barrels near the Mt. Zion Rd. and I-71/75 Interchange, the Richwood Rd. and I-71/75 interchange, and, more recently, along I-71/75 itself between Mt. Zion Rd. and the I-71/75 split and along I-75 to the Boone/Kenton County line. After many years of work, the end is in sight for all three of those projects. In fact, substantial work has been completed on all three of these projects. That doesn’t mean all the barrels are gone yet, though. Crews are completing various final tasks, KYTC is doing final inspections, and last-minute items are being addressed.

As we prepare to celebrate the end of these major projects, let’s take a look back at where it began and why these projects came to be in the first place. To keep it as simple as possible, we’ll look at these three projects separately, but know that they each impact one another and could not have been completed on their own.
Mt. Zion Road Interchange Improvements

These improvements were designed to improve safety, reduce delays in travel time and provide better connections to the growing number of businesses in the area. The region has grown significantly, and that growth brings more traffic. More traffic, unfortunately, often leads to more crashes. This area saw higher crash rates than the statewide average, so the double crossover diamond (DCD) design was chosen to improve safety in the area.

DCDs also improve efficiency in high-traffic areas, decreasing travel times for commuters. This project also included a new shared-use path, and a sidewalk to improve safe access for bicyclists and pedestrians looking to move through the area.
Richwood Road Interchange Improvements

This is the area you’ve probably seen the most changes. KYTC has changed the Richwood Rd./I-75 interchange to a DCD design, the Richwood Rd./Dixie Hwy interchange is now a SPUI, and there’s a new roundabout at Richwood Rd. and Triple Crown Blvd.

These improvements were designed to dramatically improve safety, reduce delays in travel time and provide better connections to businesses. Additionally, these improvements increase access to three truck stops in the area, which is important for travelers and especially freight trucks.

The DCD and SPUI interchanges improve safety by eliminating traffic conflict points and allow traffic to move more efficiently. The roundabout keeps traffic moving at safer speeds. New shared-use paths improve and emphasize safe connections and access for bicyclists and pedestrians. Finally, two railroad crossings were eliminated and a new overpass railroad bridge was installed to improve safety and congestion and provide better access to the industrial park and Walton Fire Station.

Here's a video overview of the Mt. Zion Rd. and Richwood Rd. projects.
I-71/75 Pavement Rehab

Pavement repairs were made between the Mt. Zion Rd. interchange and the I-71/75 split in Walton, KY, as well as about 3 miles between the split and the Boone/Kenton County line. Bridge repairs for the overpasses above Mt. Zion Rd., Frogtown Rd., and Richwood Rd. were also conducted. These repairs make travel smoother and safer for everyone who drives this section of the interstate, and the bridge work ensures good working conditions for these critical structures.
So Are They Done?

Well, yes and no. The substantial pieces of these projects have wrapped up, yes. But, there are always final touches to do, last bits of clean-up work, and especially inspections by KYTC to ensure everything is done well. These final tasks are still going on now and may continue into the new year, once next year’s construction season begins. So don’t be surprised to see trucks and work crews in the area still. Just know that the projects are mostly finished and should be completely wrapped up soon. Also, traffic engineers will be keeping their eyes on these new interchanges to ensure signal timing is working at peak efficiency.
Winter Reminders

As we move out of construction season and into the winter, remember that most projects will be going dormant. There may be other projects in Northern Kentucky and in other areas where you’re driving where you’ll see projects that aren’t quite finished. Don’t worry, projects won’t be left unfinished forever. However, many of the materials that are used don’t work in the winter. For instance, certain pavement materials need to be at a particular temperature in order to harden completely and be safe for vehicular traffic. Often those temperatures don’t happen in our area in the winter. So, it’s better for everyone for projects to pause in the colder months.

KYTC will continue to advise of any ongoing projects on their website, through the District 6 Weekly Roadshow email, and on social media. We’ll be in your inbox a few times this offseason talking about road safety in the winter. When construction season returns in the spring, we’ll be back more regularly with timely updates.
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