Interstate 71

Interstate 71 marker

Interstate 71
Route information
Maintained by Kentucky Transportation Cabinet and Ohio DOT
Length: 343.78 mi[1][2] (553.26 km)
Major junctions
South end: I-64 / I-65 in Louisville, KY

I-75 from Walton, KY to Cincinnati, OH
I-70 in Columbus, OH
I-76 / US 224 in Seville, OH

I-271 in Medina County, Ohio Medina
I-80 / Ohio Turnpike in Strongsville, OH
North end: I-90 / I-490 in Cleveland, OH
States: Kentucky, Ohio
Highway system
KY 70KYKY 72
SR 70OHSR 71

Interstate 71 (I-71) is an Interstate Highway in the Great Lakes/Midwestern and Southeastern region of the United States. Its southern terminus is at an interchange with Interstate 64 and Interstate 65 (the Kennedy Interchange) in Louisville, Kentucky. Its northern terminus is at an interchange with Interstate 90 in Cleveland, Ohio. I-71 runs concurrently with Interstate 75 from a point about twenty miles (30 km) south of Cincinnati, Ohio into downtown Cincinnati. Almost three quarters of the route lies east of I-75, thereby putting it out of its proper place in the Interstate grid.

While I-71 is designated a northsouth highway, it is a major eastwest route for cross-country traffic. It links I-80 and I-90 to I-70, and ultimately (via I-65) links to I-40.

Route description

KY 97.42 156.78
OH 248.15 399.36
Total 345.57 556.14


In Kentucky, I-71 begins east of Downtown Louisville at the Kennedy Interchange, where it meets I-64 and I-65. This interchange is sometimes called the "Spaghetti Junction". From Louisville, it roughly follows the Ohio River in a diagonal path toward Northern Kentucky. Between Louisville and Cincinnati, I-71 is largely a four-lane highway, except for a couple of miles in Sparta in which it runs three lanes each way.

Near the town of Carrollton, there are signs marking the location of a tragic accident that occurred on May 14, 1988, when a drunk driver crossed the median and struck a church bus full of children and teenagers, causing the bus' fuel tank to ignite into flames and killing 27 people on board. It is one of the worst bus accidents in state and national history.

I-71 merges with Interstate 75 near Walton and intersects Interstate 275, the Cincinnati beltway. After passing through Covington, the freeway crosses the Ohio River via the lower level of the Brent Spence Bridge and continues into Cincinnati.


A section of the Fort Washington Way in Cincinnati
Heading northbound into Columbus from the south
Intersection of I-70 and I-71 in Columbus, Ohio.

In Cincinnati, I-71 splits immediately from I-75 and heads due east onto Fort Washington Way, where it continues through downtown Cincinnati concurrently with US-50 for less than a mile. Just east of downtown, US-50 splits from I-71 and continues east; I-71 bends north and receives Interstate 471, a spur from southeast of the city. I-71 then heads in a general northeast direction through urban Cincinnati and into its surrounding suburbs. After another interchange with the Interstate 275 beltway, the freeway leaves the metropolitan area and heads towards Columbus. It continues northeast until it reaches South Lebanon, Ohio, where it begins cutting east across the flat plains of southwest Ohio. The freeway crosses the Little Miami River on the Jeremiah Morrow Bridge, which is a continuous truss bridge and the tallest bridge in Ohio at 239 feet above the river. I-71 heads towards Columbus then intersects with the bypass I-270 before heading north into urban Columbus, where it junctions I-70. About a mile north of the I-70 junction, it intersects with I-670. After another interchange with the I-270 bypass, the highway exits out of Columbus and continues north until near Delaware, where it again turns northeast. Beginning its path to Cleveland, I-71 enters the rolling farm country on the edges of the Allegheny Plateau. It continues in this fashion to Lodi/Westfield Center and its junction with I-76, which provides access to Akron. Heading north to Medina, it meets the terminus of I-271. The highway then continues north into urban Cuyahoga County and Cleveland's suburbs, intersecting the Ohio Turnpike/I-80. Passing Cleveland Hopkins International Airport, I-71 meets I-480 and enters Cleveland's west side, continuing on to downtown. It junctions with State Route 176 and terminates at Interstate 90 on the Innerbelt.



The first section of I-71 in Louisville opened in December 1966 between its terminus at Spaghetti Junction and Zorn Avenue, its first exit. Its junction with I-264 opened in July 1968, and the complete Kentucky portion of the interstate was opened to the public in July 1969. At that point, it replaced U.S. Route 42 as the primary link between Cincinnati and Louisville.[4]


Much of Interstate 71 in Ohio was intended to be State Route 1. State Route 1 was originally planned in the 1950s as a second Ohio Turnpike extending southwest to northeast across the state. It was planned to run from Cincinnati to Conneaut and connect with an extension built across the panhandle of Pennsylvania to the New York State Thruway. As the highway was being planned, the Federal Aid Highway Act of 1956 was enacted, and the project was converted from a toll road to a freeway. It was designated as State Route 1, since the Interstate Highway numbering system had not yet been implemented. Portions of the freeway began to be completed and opened in 1959 with the new Interstate Highway funding, and they were marked as State Route 1 as well as with their new Interstate Highway number. Since large gaps existed along the corridor where no freeway had yet been completed, existing two-lane or four-lane highways were also designated as State Route 1 in order to complete the route. The State Route 1 signage was removed in 1966 as the Interstate Highway numbers adequately marked the route by then and the state highway numbering was superfluous.

Columbus-area highway marker designating Interstate 71 and Ohio Route 1 (1965).

In Columbus, the portion of Interstate 71 that bounds Worthington's eastern edge was originally called the North Freeway. Costing US$13.8 million, it was constructed south from Route 161, arriving at 11th Avenue by August 1961. It took another year to construct the portion between 11th Avenue and 5th Avenue, mainly due to the need to construct a massive underpass under the Pennsylvania Railroad's Grogan Yard. Today, only two tracks cross the viaduct, and the rest of the structure supports a large, weedy field. By August 1962, the freeway had reached Fifth Avenue, and it reached downtown in November 1962.

Interstate 71 was originally planned to follow the Innerbelt Freeway northward from its current northern terminus to the Cleveland Memorial Shoreway at Dead Man's Curve when Interstate 90 was planned to continue westward from there along the Shoreway.[5]

Upon its completion, I-71 replaced State Route 3 as the primary highway link between Cincinnati, Columbus, and Cleveland.

Between 2004 and 2006, the interchange at milepost 121 in the far northern reaches of Columbus was reconstructed to allow access to the eastern extension of Gemini Place.[6] Before that, it was a simple diamond interchange with Polaris Parkway (Ohio State Route 750).

Rebuilding and widening program

In 1999, the state of Ohio began a 10-year, $500 million project to improve I-71 between Columbus and Cleveland. The plans did not include widening the 25-mile stretch in Delaware and Morrow counties, calling for patching that section instead. At that time, state transportation officials said they didn't plan to widen that section for two reasons: Traffic studies didn't support the widening, and there was no money for the project.[7] But ODOT officials eventually gave in under pressure from elected officials and business owners to widen the remaining 25-mile stretch of I-71 from just north of the U.S. 36/Ohio 37 interchange in Delaware County to the Morrow/Richland county line.[8] The reconstruction and widening on the last 25-mile stretch of I-71 in Delaware and Morrow counties began in spring 2012 and the work was completed in summer 2015 at a cost of $144 million.[8]

Exit list

KentuckyJeffersonLouisville0.0000.0001 I-65 Nashville, Indianapolis
I-64 St. Louis, Lexington
Signed as exits 1A (west) southbound and 1B (east) northbound; no access from 71 south to 64 east; no number for I-65; I-64 exit 6; I-65 exit 137; southern terminus
1.7242.7752Zorn Avenue
Indian Hills4.9667.9925 I-264 (Watterson Expressway)I-264 exits 23A-B
Louisville9.06314.5859 I-265 south (Gene Snyder Freeway) / KY 841 to US 42Signed as exits 9A (south) and 9B (north); I-265 exits 35A-B
Oldham14.48823.31614 KY 329 Crestwood, Pewee Valley
17.47828.12817 KY 146 Buckner, Crestwood, Pewee Valley
18.50729.78418 KY 393 Buckner
La Grange21.86935.19522 KY 53 La Grange, Ballardsville
HenryPendleton27.84044.80428 KY 153 to KY 146 – Sligo, New Castle
Campbellsburg33.50553.92134 US 421 Campbellsburg, New Castle, Bedford
No major junctions
Carroll42.80268.88343 KY 389 to KY 55 Prestonville, English
44.31271.31344 KY 227 Worthville, Carrollton
Gallatin54.98088.48255 KY 1039 to KY 465 VevayServes Kentucky Speedway
56.67391.20657 KY 35 Sparta, WarsawServes Kentucky Speedway
Glencoe61.77499.41662 US 127 Glencoe, Owenton
Boone72.195116.18772 KY 14 Verona
77.724125.08577 I-75 south LexingtonSouth end of I-75 overlap; exit numbers switch to follow I-75's mileposts
79.556128.033175 KY 338 Richwood
Florence82.275132.409178 KY 536 (Mt. Zion Road)
84.298135.664180 US 42 / US 127 Union, Florence
84.694136.302180AMall RoadSouthbound exit and northbound entrance; serves Florence Mall; former KY 3157
85.449137.517181 KY 18 Florence, Burlington
86.652139.453182 KY 1017 (Turfway Road)
KentonErlanger87.967141.569184 KY 236 ErlangerSigned as exits 184A (east) and 184B (west) southbound
88.900143.071185 I-275 to I-471 Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International AirportI-275 exit 84.
Fort Mitchell90.539145.708186 KY 371 (Buttermilk Pike)
91.913147.920188 US 25 / US 42 / US 127 (Dixie Highway) Fort Mitchell
Fort Wright92.870149.460189 KY 1072 (Kyles Lane) Fort Wright, Park Hills
19112th Street (KY 1120), Pike Street (US 25 / US 42 / US 127) Covington
1925th Street (KY 8) Covington, Newport
Ohio River

Brent Spence Bridge
Kentucky–Ohio state line
1A I-75 north / US 50 west (River Road) / Fifth Street DaytonNorth end of I-75 overlap; south end of US 50 overlap
1BSecond Street, Third Street Downtown Cincinnati, Riverfront
1.111.791C US 50 east (Columbia Parkway) to I-471 / US 52North end of US 50 overlap; northbound exit and southbound entrance
Lytle Tunnel
Sharp turn (40 mph or 64 km/h) in both directions
1.993.201D I-471 south NewportSouthbound exit and northbound entrance
2 US 42 (Reading Road) / Florence Avenue, Gilbert Avenue
3.335.363William Howard Taft RoadSouthbound exit and northbound entrance
5Montgomery Road (US 22 / SR 3), Dana Avenue
6 SR 561 (Edwards Road, Smith Road)
Cincinnati8.0412.948ARidge Avenue southNorthbound exit and southbound entrance
8.0412.948B SR 562 NorwoodSigned as exit 7 southbound
Columbia Township8.5113.708CRidge Avenue northNorthbound exit and southbound entrance
8.7514.088Kennedy Avenue, Ridge AvenueSouthbound exit and northbound entrance
9Red Bank Road Fairfax
Silverton10.6817.1910Stewart RoadNorthbound exit and southbound entrance
Sycamore Township11.8119.0111Kenwood RoadNorthbound exit and southbound entrance
12.4420.0212 US 22 / SR 3 (Montgomery Road)
Montgomery14.1322.7414 SR 126 (Ronald Reagan Cross County Highway)
15.8025.4315Pfeiffer Road
17 I-275 to SR 32 / I-75Signed as exits 17A (east) and 17B (west) southbound
county line
township line
19Mason Montgomery Road, Fields Ertel Road
WarrenMason23.5337.8724Western Row Road, Kings Island DriveNorthbound exit and southbound entrance
25.3040.7225 SR 741 north (Kings Mills Road) Mason
LebanonSouth Lebanon
city line
28.3345.5928 SR 48 South Lebanon, Lebanon
Turtlecreek Township32.5652.4032 SR 123 Morrow, Lebanon
Washington Township36.7459.1336Wilmington Road
ClintonChester Township45.1172.6045 SR 73 Waynesville, Wilmington
Liberty Township50.74–
50 US 68 Xenia, Wilmington
GreeneJefferson Township58.0193.3658 SR 72 Sabina, Jamestown
FayetteOcta65.33105.1465 US 35 (SR 435) Xenia, Washington Court House
Jeffersonville69.49111.8369 SR 41 / SR 734 South Solon, Jeffersonville, Washington Court House
Paint Township75.03120.7575 SR 38 Bloomingburg, Midway
MadisonPleasant Township84.27135.6284 SR 56 Mount Sterling, London
FranklinPleasant Township94.15151.5294 US 62 / SR 3 Grove City, Orient, Harrisburg
Jackson Township97.16156.3697 SR 665 (London-Groveport Road)Interchange fully opened August 17, 2012[9]
Grove City98.85159.0899Hoover Road Grove CityProposed
Grove City100.60161.90100Stringtown Road Grove City
Jackson Township101.68163.64101 I-270 Dayton, WheelingSigned as exits 101A (east) & 101B (west) northbound; I-270 exits 55A-B.
Columbus103.86167.15104 SR 104 / Frank Road
105.43169.67105Greenlawn Avenue
106.33171.12106A I-70 west DaytonSouth end of I-70 overlap; exit numbers switch to follow I-70's mileposts
106B SR 315 north Worthington
100A US 23 south (High Street) / Front StreetNo northbound entrance; southbound exit is via exit 100B
107.41172.86100B US 23 north (Fourth Street) / Livingston Avenue (US 33)
107 I-70 east WheelingNorth end of I-70 overlap
108.20174.13108AMain StreetNo northbound exit
108.63174.82108B US 40 (Broad Street)
108.93175.31Downtown C/D RoadsSouthbound exit and northbound entrance (under construction)
109.38176.03Leonard AvenueNorthbound exit only
109A I-670 Port Columbus International Airport, DaytonSigned as exits 109A (west) and 109B (east, combined with Leonard Avenue exit) northbound
110.16177.29110AFifth AvenueNo northbound exit
110.68178.12110B11th Avenue
111.15178.8811117th AvenueAccess to the Ohio State Fairgrounds & Expo Center, Ohio History Center & Columbus Crew Stadium
112.33180.78112Hudson StreetAccess to Columbus Crew Stadium
112.98181.82113Weber Road
113.46182.60114North Broadway
114.53184.32115Cooke Road
115.58186.01116Morse Road, Sinclair Road
117.53189.15117 SR 161 (Dublin-Granville Road)
119 I-270 Dayton, WheelingSigned as exits 119A (east) and 119B (west) southbound; I-270 west exit 26, east exits 26A-B.
121 SR 750 (Polaris Parkway) / Gemini PlaceEastern terminus of SR 750, connects using Gemini Place southbound. Access to Polaris Shopping Center.
Berkshire Township130.64210.24131 US 36 / SR 37 Delaware, Sunbury
MorrowBennington Township140.15225.55140 SR 61 Sunbury, Mount Gilead, Galion
township line
151.09243.16151 SR 95 Fredericktown, Mount Gilead
RichlandWashington TownshipBellville
village line
165.25265.94165 SR 97 Lexington, Bellville
Washington TownshipMansfield
city line
168.81271.67169 SR 13 Mansfield, Bellville
Madison Township172.97278.37173 SR 39 Mansfield, Lucas
Mifflin Township176.91284.71176 US 30 Mansfield, Wooster
AshlandMontgomery Township186.71300.48186 US 250 Ashland, Wooster
WayneCongress Township196.31315.93196 SR 301 West SalemNorthbound exit and southbound entrance
197.92318.52198 SR 539 West Salem, Congress
MedinaHarrisville Township203.89328.13204 SR 83 Lodi, Wooster
Westfield Township209.51337.17209 I-76 / US 224 Lodi, AkronSigned as exits 209A (I-76/US 224 east) and 209B (US 224 west); western terminus of I-76 (Ohio), east exit 1, west exits 1A-B
Medina Township218.86352.22218 SR 18 Akron, Medina
220.71355.20220 I-271 north ErieNorthbound exit and southbound entrance
222.91358.74222 SR 3 Hinckley, Medina
Brunswick226.03363.76226 SR 303 Brunswick, Hinckley
CuyahogaStrongsville231.26372.18231 SR 82 (Royalton Road) Strongsville, North RoyaltonSigned as exits 231A (east) and 231B (west) southbound
233.06375.07233 I-80 / Ohio Turnpike Toledo, YoungstownI-80/OH Turnpike exit 161.
Middleburg Heights234.21376.92234 US 42 Strongsville, Parma Heights
235.37378.79235Bagley Road Berea, Middleburg Heights
Brook Park237.53382.27237Snow Road, Engle Road Cleveland Hopkins International AirportSigned as exits 237A (east) and 237B (west) southbound
Brook ParkCleveland
city line
238.77384.26238 I-480 Cleveland Hopkins International Airport, Toledo, YoungstownNorthbound exit and southbound entrance
Cleveland239.26385.05238/239 I-480 west / SR 237 south Cleveland Hopkins International Airport, Berea, ToledoSouthbound exit and northbound entrance
240.57387.16240West 150th Street
241.85389.22242AWest 130th StreetSigned as exit 242 southbound
city line
242.41390.12242BBellaire RoadNorthbound exit and southbound entrance
Cleveland244.5393.5244Denison Avenue, West 65th StreetNorthbound exit and southbound entrance
245 US 42 / SR 3 / (Pearl Road, West 25th Street) / Fulton Road
246.6396.9246 SR 176 south ParmaSouthbound exit and northbound entrance
246.98397.48247AWest 14th Street, Clark AvenueNorthbound exit and southbound entrance
247.56398.41247B I-490 east to I-77Northbound exit and southbound entrance; I-490 exit 1A
247.56398.41247B I-90 west ToledoNorthbound exit and southbound entrance. I-90 exit 170B.
247.81398.81 I-90 east Downtown ClevelandNorthern terminus; I-90 exit 170B.
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi

Auxiliary routes

See also

Sports rivalries involving cities on I-71


  1. 1 2 Kentucky Transportation Cabinet, HIS Expanded Milepoint Route Log Extract, updated October 31, 2007
  2. 1 2 Ohio Department of Transportation Office of Technical Services: Straight Line Diagrams, current as of January 1, 2007
  3. "Route Log and Finder List: Table 1 - Interstate System". FHWA. Retrieved 2007-07-09.
  4. Kleber, John E. (ed.). Encyclopedia of Louisville. p. 418.
  5. Ohio Department of Highways. "1957-1958 Biennial Report (excerpt)". Retrieved 2013-02-27.
  6. "Ohio Fuses Two Interchanges in Columbus". Retrieved 2015-06-14.
  7. Mark Ferenchik. "The Columbus Dispatch - 3rd lane coming to I-71 by 2015". The Columbus Dispatch. Retrieved 4 October 2014.
  8. 1 2 Todd Hill. "MansfieldNewsJournal - I-71 widening almost finished". Mansfield News Journal. Retrieved 2015-06-19.
  9. "Transportation Partners Celebrate Opening of New Southern Gateway" (Press release). Ohio Department of Transportation District 6. 2012-08-16. Retrieved 2013-02-27.

Route map: Bing / Google

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