March 2023
The Scoop on SPUI
As we look ahead to the upcoming 2023 construction season, there are some important improvements coming to Northern Kentucky roadways very soon. We’re especially excited about the opening of a new SPUI in Boone County. At a SPUI, traffic making opposing left turns can do so at the same time, allowing more vehicles to move than through a normal interchange. A SPUI improves both travel times and safety – but they’re still fairly new to Northern Kentucky. That’s why we’re here to answer a few FAQs about SPUIs.
What is a SPUI?
So glad you asked! A SPUI, pronounced SPOO-EE, is a Single Point Urban Interchange, and it’s an increasingly popular design to help move traffic more safely and efficiently at major interchanges. It also uses a smaller footprint than traditional interchanges. If you live in the Burlington/Hebron area, you’re already familiar with the SPUI at the intersection of KY 18 and KY 237. 
How does a SPUI work?
In a SPUI, drivers entering or exiting a highway only encounter one traffic signal, which supports all turning movements and travel through the intersecting roadway. This allows freer movement of traffic and more room for larger vehicles like trucks and buses to navigate the intersection. Obvious pavement markings guide traffic through the interchange. The benefit to drivers? Faster, smoother, safer travel in spots where congestion has previously created bottlenecks.

A SPUI is not to be confused with another recent addition to Northern Kentucky roadways, the Double Crossover Diamond (DCD) Interchange, like the one at Graves Road. In a DCD the traffic moves over to the left side of the road so drivers turning left to enter the highway no longer have to turn in front of oncoming traffic. It’s also different from a conventional diamond interchange, where traffic enters and exits the interstate by moving through multiple traffic signals.
Where will the new SPUI be located?
The new SPUI will be located at the intersection of Richwood Road (KY 338) and Dixie Highway (US 25), and is slated to open to traffic mid-summer. It’s part of the project to reconstruct the I-71/75 interchange at Richwood Road and add lanes throughout the Richwood and Dixie corridors. Once the SPUI is in place, Dixie Highway traffic will move continuously via the new bridge over Richwood Road. At the same time, traffic along Richwood Road will move more smoothly under the Dixie Highway and Norfolk Southern railroad bridges. The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet chose to build the SPUI here because the interchange is very close to both the I-71/75 interchange and the railroad track, and because the smaller SPUI footprint more easily accommodates the additional lanes that are also being built. Finally, construction of a SPUI allows the at-grade rail crossings at Dixie Highway and Shorland Drive to be removed – and that means improvements for both travel and safety. 
That’s the scoop on the new SPUI! Got another question we didn’t answer? Just let us know. And be sure to visit our website and follow Driving Northern Kentucky Progress social media to keep up with travel pattern changes and construction updates.
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