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Interstate 71 shield
Interstate 71
Main route of the Interstate Highway System
Maintained by Kentucky DOT and Ohio DOT
Length: 343.78 mi[1][2] (553.26 km)
South end: I-64 / I-65 in Louisville, KY
I-75 near Cincinnati
I-70 in Columbus, OH
I-76 in Seville, OH
I-80 / Ohio Tpk. in Strongsville, OH
North end: I-90 / I-490 in Cleveland, OH
< KY 70 KY KY 72 >
< I-70 OH SR 73 >

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 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 north–south highway, it is a major east–west 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

  mi[3] km
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 "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 two-lane highway, except for a couple of miles in Sparta in which it runs three lanes each way. 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.


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 to Grove City, just south of Columbus. I-71 then intersects with the bypass I-270 before heading north into urban Columbus, where it junctions I-70 and exits out of Columbus. The highway 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. 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.



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.

Heading northbound into Columbus from the south
Intersection of I-70 and I-71 in Columbus, Ohio.

In 1960, State Route 1 followed Central Ave. in Cincinnati, to John Street, to Lincoln Park Drive (now Ezzard Charles Drive), to Freeman Avenue, to Western Avenue, to Spring Grove Avenue, to Colerain Avenue to Interstate 75 (at what is now the I-75/I-74 interchange); Interstate 75 from current I-74 interchange to West Carrollton; U.S. Highway 25 (Dixie Drive) from West Carrollton to Interstate 70; Interstate 70 from Dixie Drive to near Enon (current I-70/OH-4 split); State Route 4 from near Enon to Springfield; U.S. Highway 40 from Springfield to Columbus; Broad St. (US 40) in Columbus, to 4th Street, to Summit/3rd Street (US 23), to Hudson Street, to Interstate 71; I-71 from Columbus to just east of Medina (the only portion of Interstate 71 complete at the time); State Route 18 from near Medina to Montrose; U.S. Highway 21 from Montrose to Brecksville; State Route 82 from Brecksville to Aurora; (an alternate State Route 1 ran from Twinsburg southeast along State Route 14 to Streetsboro and then on State Route 43 to Aurora, in order to connect Highway 1 to the Ohio Turnpike;) State Route 306 from Aurora to State Route 84; State Route 84 from State Route 306 to just west of what was then State Route 44; due south to Interstate 90 along what is now a section of State Route 44; and finally Interstate 90 to the Pennsylvania state line.

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.

The Highway 1 signage was removed in 1966 as the Interstate Highway numbers adequately marked the route and the state highway numbering was superfluous. The present day route of what was once planned as State Route 1 is Interstate 71 from Cincinnati to just northeast of Medina, Interstate 271 for its entire length from northeast of Medina to Willoughby Hills, and Interstate 90 from Willoughby Hills to the Pennsylvania state line at Conneaut.

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

Recently, the interchange at milepost 121 north of Columbus was reconstructed to allow access to the eastern extension of Gemini Place. Before that, it was a simple diamond interchange with Polaris Parkway (Ohio State Route 750).

Exit list

State County Location Mile[1][2] # Destinations Notes
Kentucky Jefferson Louisville 0.000 1B I-65  – Nashville, Indianapolis Southbound exit and northbound entrance
0.000 1A I-64 west  – St. Louis Southbound exit and northbound entrance
0.000 I-64 east – Lexington Northbound exit and southbound entrance
1.724 2 Zorn Avenue
Indian Hills 4.966 5 I-264 (Watterson Expressway)
9.063 9 I-265 south (Gene Snyder Freeway) / KY 841 to US 42 Signed as exits 9A (south) and 9B (north)
Oldham 14.488 14 KY 329Crestwood, Pewee Valley
17.478 17 KY 146Buckner, Crestwood, Pewee Valley
18.507 18 KY 393Buckner
La Grange 21.869 22 KY 53La Grange, Ballardsville
Henry 27.840 28 KY 153 to KY 146 – Sligo, New Castle
Campbellsburg 33.505 34 US 421Campbellsburg, New Castle, Bedford
Carroll 42.802 43 KY 389 to KY 55Prestonville, English
44.312 44 KY 227Worthville, Carrollton
Gallatin 54.980 55 KY 1039 to KY 465  – Vevay
56.673 57 KY 35Sparta, Warsaw
Glencoe 61.774 62 US 127Glencoe, Owenton
Boone 72.195 72 KY 14Verona
77.724 77 I-75 south – Lexington South end of I-75 overlap
79.556 175 KY 338Richwood
Florence 82.275 178 KY 536 (Mt. Zion Road)
84.298 180 US 42 / US 127Union, Florence
84.694 180A Mall Road (KY 3157) Southbound exit and northbound entrance; serves Florence Mall
85.449 181 KY 18Florence, Burlington
86.652 182 KY 1017 (Turfway Road)
Kenton Erlanger 87.967 184 KY 236Erlanger Signed as exits 184A (east) and 184B (west) southbound
88.900 185 I-275 to I-471Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport
Fort Mitchell 90.539 186 KY 371 (Buttermilk Pike)
91.913 188 US 25 / US 42 / US 127 (Dixie Highway) – Fort Mitchell
Fort Wright 92.870 189 KY 1072 (Kyles Lane) – Fort Wright, Park Hills
Covington 94.707-
191 12th Street (KY 1120), Pike Street (US 25 / US 42 / US 127) – Covington
192 5th Street (KY 8) – Covington, Newport
Brent Spence Bridge over the Ohio River (state line)
Ohio Hamilton Cincinnati 0.22-
1A I-75 north / US 50 west (River Road) / Fifth Street – Dayton North end of I-75 overlap; south end of US 50 overlap
1 Second Street, Third Street – Downtown Cincinnati, Riverfront
1.11 US 50 east (Columbia Parkway) to I-471 / US 52 North end of US 50 overlap; northbound exit and southbound entrance

Lytle Tunnel - Sharp turn 40 MPH (70 km/h) in both directions

1.99 1J I-471 south  – Newport Southbound exit and northbound entrance
2 US 42 (Reading Road) / Florence Avenue, Gilbert Avenue
3.33 3 William Howard Taft Road Southbound exit and northbound entrance
5 Montgomery Road (US 22 / SR 3), Dana Avenue
Norwood 6.75-
6 SR 561 (Edwards Road, Smith Road)
Cincinnati 8.04 8A Ridge Avenue south Northbound exit and southbound entrance
8.04 8B SR 562Norwood Signed as exit 7 southbound
8.51 8C Ridge Avenue north Northbound exit and southbound entrance
8.75 8 Kennedy Avenue, Ridge Avenue Southbound exit and northbound entrance
9 Red Bank Road – Fairfax
Silverton 10.68 10 Stewart Road Northbound exit and southbound entrance
11.81 11 Kenwood Road Northbound exit and southbound entrance
12.44 12 US 22 / SR 3 (Montgomery Road)
Montgomery 14.13 14 SR 126 (Ronald Reagan Cross County Highway)
15.80 15 Pfeiffer Road
17 I-275 to SR 32 / I-75 Signed as exits 17A (east) and 17B (west) southbound
19 Mason Montgomery Road, Fields Ertel Road
Mason 23.53 24 Western Row Road, Kings Island Drive Northbound exit and southbound entrance
25.30 25 SR 741 north (Kings Mills Road) – Mason
28.33 28 SR 48South Lebanon, Lebanon
32.56 32 SR 123Morrow, Lebanon
36.74 36 Wilmington Road
Clinton 45.11 45 SR 73Waynesville, Wilmington
50 US 68Xenia, Wilmington
Greene 58.01 58 SR 72Sabina, Jamestown
Fayette Octa 65.33 65 US 35 (SR 435) – Xenia, Washington Court House
Jeffersonville 69.49 69 SR 41 / SR 734South Solon, Jeffersonville, Washington Court House
75.03 75 SR 38Bloomingburg, Midway
Madison 84.27 84 SR 56Mount Sterling, London
Franklin 94.15 94 US 62 / SR 3Grove City, Orient, Harrisburg
97.16 97 SR 665 (London-Groveport Road)
Grove City 100.60 100 Stringtown Road – Grove City
101.68 101 I-270Dayton, Wheeling Signed as exits 101A (east) and 101B (west) northbound
Columbus 103.86 104 SR 104 / Frank Road
105.43 105 Greenlawn Avenue
106 106A I-70 west – Dayton South end of I-70 overlap
106 99B SR 315 north
100A US 23 south (High Street) / Front Street No northbound entrance; southbound exit is via exit 100B
107.41 100B US 23 north (Fourth Street) / Livingston Avenue (US 33)
107 I-70 east  – Wheeling North end of I-70 overlap
108.20 108A Main Street No northbound exit
108.63 108B US 40 (Broad Street)
108.93 109C Spring Street Southbound exit and northbound entrance
109.38 109B SR 3 (Cleveland Avenue) / Leonard Avenue No entrance ramps
109A I-670Port Columbus International Airport, Dayton Signed as exits 109A (west) and 109B (east, combined with Leonard Avenue exit) northbound
110.16 110A Fifth Avenue No northbound exit
110.68 110B 11th Avenue
111.15 111 17th Avenue
112.33 112 Hudson Street
112.98 113 Weber Road
113.46 114 North Broadway
114.53 115 Cooke Road
115.58 116 Morse Road, Sinclair Road
117.53 117 SR 161 (Dublin-Granville Road)
119 I-270Dayton, Wheeling Signed as exits 119A (east) and 119B (west) southbound
Delaware 121.45-
121 SR 750 (Polaris Parkway) / Gemini Place
130.64 131 US 36 / SR 37Delaware, Sunbury
Morrow 140.15 140 SR 61Cardington, Sunbury, Mount Gilead
151.09 151 SR 95Fredericktown, Mount Gilead
Richland Bellville 165.25 165 SR 97Lexington, Bellville
Mansfield 168.81 169 SR 13Mansfield, Bellville
172.97 173 SR 39Mansfield, Lucas
176.91 176 US 30Mansfield, Wooster
Ashland 186.71 186 US 250Ashland, Wooster
Wayne 196.31 196 SR 301West Salem Northbound exit and southbound entrance
197.92 198 SR 539West Salem, Congress
Medina 203.89 204 SR 83Lodi, Wooster
209.51 209 I-76 / US 224Lodi, Akron
218.86 218 SR 18Akron, Medina
220.71 220 I-271 north  – Erie Northbound exit and southbound entrance
222.91 222 SR 3Hinckley, Medina
Brunswick 226.03 226 SR 303Brunswick, Hinckley
Cuyahoga Strongsville 231.26 231 SR 82 (Royalton Road) – Strongsville, North Royalton Signed as exits 231A (east) and 231B (west) southbound
233.06 233 I-80 / Ohio Tpk.Toledo, Youngstown
Middleburg Heights 234.21 234 US 42Strongsville, Parma Heights
235.37 235 Bagley Road – Berea, Middleburg Heights
Brook Park 237.53 237 Snow Road, Engle Road – Cleveland Hopkins International Airport Signed as exits 237A (east) and 237B (west) southbound
238.77 238 I-480Cleveland Hopkins International Airport, Toledo, Youngstown Northbound exit and southbound entrance
239.26 238 I-480 west / SR 237 south – Cleveland Hopkins International Airport, Berea, Toledo Southbound exit and northbound entrance
240.57 240 West 150th Street
241.85 242A West 130th Street Signed as exit 242 southbound
242.41 242B Bellaire Road Northbound exit and southbound entrance
Cleveland 244.5 244 Denison Avenue, West 65th Street Northbound exit and southbound entrance
245 US 42 / SR 3 / (Pearl Road, West 25th Street) / Fulton Road
246.6 246 SR 176 south – Parma Southbound exit and northbound entrance
246.98 247A West 14th Street, Clark Avenue Northbound exit and southbound entrance
247.56 247B I-490 east to I-77 Northbound exit and southbound entrance
247.56 247B I-90 west – Toledo Northbound exit and southbound entrance
247.81 I-90 east – Downtown Cleveland Northbound exit and southbound entrance

Auxiliary routes

  • I-471 - links downtown Cincinnati with Interstate 275
  • I-271 - provides access to Cleveland's eastern suburbs and enables travelers on Interstate 71 to access Interstate 90 east without going through Cleveland proper.

See also

Sports rivalries involving cities on I-71


External links

Main Interstate Highways (major interstates highlighted)
4 5 8 10 12 15 16 17 19 20 22 24 25 26 27 29 30
35 37 39 40 43 44 45 49 55 57 59 64 65 66 68 69
70 71 72 73 74 75 76 (W) 76 (E) 77 78 79 80 81 82
83 84 (W) 84 (E) 85 86 (W) 86 (E) 87 88 (W) 88 (E) 89 90
91 93 94 95 96 97 99 (238) H-1 H-2 H-3
Unsigned  A-1 A-2 A-3 A-4 PRI-1 PRI-2 PRI-3
Lists  Primary  Main - Intrastate - Suffixed - Future - Gaps
Auxiliary  Main - Future - Unsigned
Other  Standards - Business - Bypassed


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