Design-Build Team to Review Ezzard Charles ‘Cap’ Concept

Design-Build Team to Review Ezzard Charles ‘Cap’ Concept

Sunday October 15, 2023

The Brent Spence Bridge Corridor project design-build team will review an innovative concept proposed by the Cincinnati Department of Transportation & Engineering — a park-like “cap” over Interstate 75 along Ezzard Charles Drive.

Also known as freeway lids or decks, these wide overpasses are designed to create new urban green spaces while reconnecting nearby street grids. Nationwide, caps have proven to be successful in combining infrastructure upgrades with community connections and economic growth.

The proposed Ezzard Charles Drive cap would widen the overpass without changing the crossing distance, while the added space could allow for pedestrian paths, enhanced landscaping, social gathering areas and small retail development. The cap would improve connectivity between neighborhoods divided by I-75 and create a gateway for the Cincinnati Museum Center and the West End neighborhood.

The Ohio Department of Transportation supports exploring the idea and partially funding its construction. The Walsh Kokosing Design-Build Team will analyze the concept for feasibility and costs as part of the project’s innovation period. The Ezzard Charles cap idea emerged following recent meetings of the city’s 15-member community advisory committee, which includes representatives of neighborhood groups, businesses, and local government. The City of Cincinnati called the concept “transformational” in an announcement detailing the idea.