Fort Washington Way

Constructed in the early 1960s, Fort Washington Way is one of a few major highway connections bridging downtown Cincinnati’s east and west sides. When it opened, Fort Washington Way could safely accommodate 90,000 vehicles per day. As downtown businesses and entertainment venues began to grow and flourish, so too did traffic in and out of the city.

Up until July 1998, this major downtown artery was exceeding its original construction limit by supporting more than 120,000 vehicles each day. Heavy traffic congestion, dangerous weaves from nearby interstate off-ramps and pedestrian safety were quickly becoming problems during rush hour and times of special downtown events.

Fort Washington Way reconstruction began in 1995 when the City of Cincinnati asked the Ohio-Kentucky-Indiana Regional Council of Governments (OKI) to provide a solution. The reconstruction of Fort Washington Way became a sub-study of the OKI I-71 Corridor Transportation Study.

In January 1997, OKI produced a plan for the revamping of Fort Washington Way, and the City approved two months later. Parts of Fort Washington Way have gone from concept to design and into construction in a short amount of time.

Features of FWW 2000 include:

  • Increased number of lanes, while reducing the overall width of the highway;
  • Eight lanes of through, direct traffic for I-71 and U.S. Route 50;
  • A new Second Street and renovated Third Street as grand boulevard entrances into downtown Cincinnati;
  • Safer access ramps into downtown;
  • Safety for pedestrian access to, through and around the Fort Washington Way area;
  • Reclamation of 250 to 300 feet of the current Fort Washington Way between Elm and Sycamore streets, making this land available for new development; and
  • Flexibility for development south of the new Fort Washington Way.

Fort Washington Way Documents

Definition of Alternatives Technical Memorandum
Evaluation of Alternatives Report
Major Investment Study Report
Problem Statement
Scope and Cost Estimate Assumptions
Social Economic and Environmental Screening Technical Memorandum
Traffic Operations Using Revised Forecasts and Methodology
Travel Demand Forecasting Final Report