Interstate 471 and 71 in Kentucky

Interstate 471 in Kentucky

Get started Highland Heights
End Cincinnati
Length 6 mi
Length 9 km
1 → Cincinnati Beltway2 Southgate

3 Woodlawn

4 10th Street

5 Newport

Daniel Carter Beard Bridge

6 Columbia Parkway

7 → Columbus

Interstate 471 or I -471 is an Interstate Highway in the US state of Kentucky and a short distance in Ohio. The highway forms an arterial road from several southern suburbs to Cincinnati. The highway is 9 kilometers long.

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Travel directions

I-471 in Ohio, near the Daniel Carter Beard Bridge over the Ohio River.

The highway begins at Highland Heights, and intersects Interstate 275, Cincinnati ‘s beltway. Then 2×3 lanes run north. It passes through several small hillside suburbs, and the older town of Newport. The Daniel Carter Beard Bridge crosses the Ohio River to the state of Ohio and the city of Cincinnati. The bridge is also called the Big Mac Bridge, because of its bright yellow color, which is reminiscent of McDonalds. Here the highway ends at Interstate 71, which runs to Columbus and Cleveland.


Construction of I-471 has been delayed several times because Kentucky could not agree on the route. In the mid-1960s, an opening in 1972 was planned, but this proved unfeasible, the construction of the Daniel Carter Beard Bridgedid not start until 1971. In January 1976 the bridge opened southbound and in December 1976 northbound. The highway then ended immediately south of the Ohio River Bridge in Newport, Kentucky. North of the bridge, I-471 ended on Columbia Parkway in Cincinnati, and because of the construction of embankments to keep Mount Adams from sliding onto I-471, it wasn’t completed until 1980, putting I-471 on the bridge. I-71 in Cincinnati. At the same time, construction began in 1977 on the remainder of I-471 in Kentucky, the first one-mile section from I-275 opened on November 1, 1980. In January this was extended north to Grand Avenue. On September 18, 1981, the highway was completed with the route through Newport and Woodlawn, establishing I-471.

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Traffic intensities

The intensity rises from 95,000 to 110,000 vehicles per day, although large-scale congestion usually does not occur.

Interstate 71 in Kentucky

Begin Louisville
End Covington
Length 98 mi
Length 157 km
1 → St. Louis2 Zorn Avenue

5 → Louisville Bypass

9 → Louisville Beltway

14 Crestwood

17 Buckner

18 Buckner

22 The Barn

28 Pendleton

34 Campbellsburg

43 Prestonville

44 Carrollton

55 Sparta

57 Sparta

62 Glencoe

72 Verona

77 → Lexington

175 Richwood

178 Mount Zion Road

180 Florence

181 Burlington

182 Turfway Road

184 Erlanger

185 → Cincinnati Beltway

186 Crescent Springs


189 Fort Wright

191 Covington

192 Covington

Brent Spence Bridge


Interstate 71 or I -71 is an Interstate Highway in the U.S. state of Kentucky. The highway connects two larger metropolitan areas, Louisville and Cincinnati. The route runs in northern Kentucky, not far from the Ohio River, which also forms the border with Indiana. The highway is 157 kilometers long.

Travel directions

I-71 near Carrollton.

The merging of I-71 and I-75 at Walton.


I-71 begins near Downtown Louisville at the Kennedy Interchange with I-64 and I-65. This junction is spacious and has flyovers and braids. I-71 then branches off and parallels the Ohio River to the northeast, through the suburbs and suburbs of Louisville. I-71 has only 2×2 lanes and has interchanges with Louisville’s two beltways, Interstate 264 and Interstate 265. The suburban area gradually changes into a more sparsely built-up and more exurban area. The last suburbs are around La Grange, after which one enters the countryside.

Northern Kentucky

I-71 then travels about 100 miles across the Northern Kentucky countryside. US 42 runs parallel to I-71, but not right next to it in most places. I-71 more or less follows the course of the Ohio River, but remains some distance from it. The main intersection halfway through is with US 421. I-71 is a 2×2 lane rural highway with a wide median strip and through mostly wooded areas. Near Carollton one crosses the Kentucky River. Near Walton, the interchange follows with I-75, both highways then run together.

I-71/75 then passes through the southern suburbs of Cincinnati. The highway has 2×4 lanes and covers more than 25 kilometers through suburban areas. Striking is the 4-level stack with Cincinnati’s ring road, the Interstate 275. Just before the town of Covington there is a descent into the Ohio River valley. The double-deck Brent Spence Bridge crosses the Ohio River and the Ohio State border, then Interstate 71 in Ohio continues through Cincinnati and toward Columbus.


The double-numbered part with I-75 in suburban Cincinnati is the oldest part, having opened in the early 1960s. In 1963, the double-deck Brent Spence Bridge over the Ohio River on the Ohio border opened to traffic. The individual route of I-71 between Louisville and I-75 began construction in late 1965. The highway was completed fairly quickly after that, about 1966 the first few miles opened to the east of Louisville and about 1968 the western portion of the route in Louisville was semi-profile, as well as a longer 2×2 section between Carrollton and I-75. In 1969 the entire I-71 was ready.


I-71 will be widened to 2×3 lanes for 9 kilometers between I-265 and Crestwood. This project is included in the I-Move Kentucky program. Work started on February 12, 2020 and should be completed by mid-2023.

Traffic intensities

In Louisville, I-71 is not very busy, with 59,000 vehicles per day. On the quietest part halfway, 34,000 vehicles drive a day. After merging with I-75, this increases to 95,000 vehicles per day and increases to 165,000 vehicles through the first suburbs. After the ring road I-275 this decreases only slightly, in Covington there are 149,000 vehicles per day. This number of vehicles also cross the Ohio River.

Interstate 71 in Kentucky