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I-70/I-71 Columbus Crossroads

Mound Street Connector

Long Street Bridge


Running through a central business district of Ohio's largest city, I-70/I-71 needed a long-term and comprehensive solution for the high-traffic and high-crash area.

Services Involved

  • Transportation Study
  • Interchange Design
  • Highway Engineering
  • Maintenance of Traffic
  • Public Involvement
  • Design/Build
  • Aesthetic Enhancement Plan
  • Streetscaping
  • Complete Streets
  • Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI)
  • Right-of-Way
  • Section 4(f) Evaluation
  • Survey


2016 Best Urban Project: Mound Street Connector

ODOT/ACEC Ohio Partnering Award

Outstanding Major New Bridge: Mound Street Connector

Ohio Chapters of the Association for Bridge Construction and Design (ABCD)

2014 Engineering Projects

Columbus Business First

2013 National Recognition Award

American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC) National

2012 Outstanding Achievement Award

American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC) of Ohio

2012 Grand Award

American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC) of Ohio

I-70/I-71 Columbus Crossroads

The overlap of two interstates, I-70 and I-71, runs through the central business district of Ohio’s largest city and is identified as one of the state’s highest crash locations. The two-mile stretch where I-70 and I-71 combine and then separate is also characterized by congestion for many hours of the day. The volume of traffic, combined with numerous freeway ramps, contributes to the congestion.


To develop short- and long-term solutions for this persistent problem, the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) retained ms consultants, inc. as the lead consultant on the I-70/I-71 South Innerbelt Study. 


Upon completion of the study and a final environmental Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI), ODOT selected ms consultants to prepare the final design for the I-70/I-71 East Interchange. The project team, led by ms, included 10 subconsultants selected for unique contributions of services.


The I-70/I-71 East Interchange project completely re-builds this freeway system interchange. Project highlights include:


  • Six ramps providing access to and from city arterial streets.
  • Construction of the Mound Street and Fulton Street urban avenues, which will serve as a new gateway into downtown Columbus
  • More than 25 lane miles of pavement
  • 18 interchange bridges
  • 250,000 square feet of retaining walls
  • Aesthetic enhancements, including landscaping, decorative street light, traffic signal mast arms along Mound Street, Fulton Street, Parsons Avenue, Main Street bridge, and Grant Avenue bridge


Because the I-70/I-71 project had such an impact on the local community, it was critical to involve the public throughout the project. As lead consultant, ms was the primary presenter at more than 400 stakeholder, community, and public meetings scheduled throughout the project.


The ms team developed a comprehensive and intensive public involvement plan intended to build broad-based public support of the project by engaging the stakeholders in the design process.


This is a continuation of the public involvement started by the ms team during the I-70/I-71 South Innerbelt Study. The public involvement plan ensures a common, unified presentation is made to the public for all phases of the I-70/I-71 project.


The I-70/I-71 project was also an opportunity to try out a new pilot program. The Mound Street and Fulton Street urban avenues, along with Parsons Avenue, were designated by ODOT as a “Complete Street Pilot Project.” Complete streets are designed to provide safe access to all users – pedestrians, bicyclists, transit riders and vehicles. 


The design for these streets were based on the plan developed through a series of workshop meetings held with stakeholder groups and city representatives. Bike lanes, sidewalks, on-street parking, tree lawns and streetscaping are all components of this plan.

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