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Reconnecting Cincinnati Westway Economic Impact Analysis

Bridge Forward Cincinnati
Cincinnati, OH
February 2023
May 2023
Service areas

Collaborative research


Economic + Social Impact Analysis


Market + Zoning Analysis

The Brent Spence Bridge (“BSB”), which connects Downtown Cincinnati to Northern Kentucky, is a critical piece of infrastructure for both local and regional traffic. New federal infrastructure funding has finally allowed plans for a much needed bridge redevelopment project to proceed. The $2.8 billion infrastructure redevelopment project is a major opportunity for Cincinnati and the region. However, current plans do little to improve urban conditions around the bridge’s onramps in Downtown Cincinnati, or restore the West End neighborhood that was destroyed during initial highway construction in the 1950s.

Bridge Forward Cincinnati (“BFC”) is a grassroots advocacy group that, in partnership with leading architecture firm GBBN, has proposed an alternative design that would consolidate the highway approach ramp footprint and reclaim 30 acres of prime Downtown Cincinnati land, known as “Westway.”

BFC hired Karp Strategies to quantify the beneficial economic impacts of their alternative design, and craft a data-backed narrative to convince the Ohio Department of Transportation and other stakeholders to support their proposal. Karp Strategies used demographic, economic, and real estate data to illustrate current demographic, real estate, and industry trends in and around the Westway area. Subsequently, the team ran a statistical and economic impact analysis using RIMS II input-output multipliers to quantify the positive direct and indirect impacts of real estate development facilitated by BFC’s alternative design. The team integrated insights from the data to craft a clear and persuasive narrative illustrating the once-in-a-generation potential of BFC’s alternative design to repair Cincinnati’s urban fabric and deliver economic benefits to the city and surrounding region.

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