Ohio Rt. 562, or simply "The Lateral", as it is always called by locals, is a three mile expressway that connects radial I-71 and I-75 through the industrial city of Norwood.  Its western segment between I-75 and Reading Rd., which also includes the Paddock Rd. interchange, opened together with that stretch of I-75 in 1958.  No additional work took place until the early 1970's, when the eastern two miles opened simultaneously with I-71.  The eastern end of the expressway at I-71 was built on purchased right-of-way, but the Lateral's center mile parallels the B&O mainline along a strip of land graded in the early 1920's for a surface running portion of the never-finished subway.  The westernmost segment between I-75 and the Reading Rd. interchange was also built along graded subway right-of-way.  Expressway construction destroyed the southern part of a 900ft. tunnel built as part of this project under Section Rd., and the remainder of that tunnel was filled in.  Another 900ft. tunnel existed until early 2004 east of Montgomery Rd., running parallel to but out of sight of the expressway.  The tunnel's newly sealed east portal can be seen from Norwood Waterworks Park.  Photos of these tunnels can be seen in the Norwood Tunnels section.  Additionally, short overpasses built as part of the subway line over Paddock Rd. and Reading Rd. were demolished at the time of the expressway's construction.

I added the word "lateral" to this map -- please note that the official name of the expressway  is Rt. 562
and that "Norwood Lateral" never appears on any official maps or signage.  Click here for a larger
version of this map.

Despite most of the Lateral having been built during the early 1970's, the expressway's overall character more resembles a 1950's pre-interstate expressway, leading me to believe that it might have been completed according to original plans drawn in the 1950's (although I have no confirmation of this).   A center concrete barrier divides traffic for most of the route, and where a grass median is present it is narrow.  There are several abrupt grades and curves along the route, and overpass pillars as well as retaining walls are often unusually close to the edge of the road.  Neither the eastbound or westbound "Montgomery Rd." exits lead directly onto Montgomery Rd., and merges at all ramps are short.  Due to these design constraints, traffic rarely moves faster than 60 mph even during off-peak hours. 

<>Several brownfield sites await redevelopment in the area, but given the precedent in other areas of Norwood, residential areas lining the highway might fall victim to large redevelopment schemes before vacant land.  Nevertheless it is reasonable to assume that the expressway and its surroundings will remain mostly as it appears today for decades to come.  Currently the Lateral is not expected to be significantly affected by the reconfiguration and reconstruction of I-75 planned to begin after 2010.  Although its I-75 interchange will almost certainly be reconstructed, connections between it and I-75's proposed express lanes are not under study.

                                          Readers cite trash, debris along Lateral

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                                                                            Saturday, February 14, 2004

                                        By Dave Hofmeister
                                        The Cincinnati Enquirer

                                        Several readers have written to point out the trashy appearance and unsafe
                                        conditions along the Norwood Lateral, Ohio 562.

                                        John G. Banner, of Clifton, wrote:

                                        On any given day, tires and other road debris are evident and remain
                                        uncollected on the emergency lanes, as well as trash on the grassy areas. It
                                        looks horrible. At night, I count over a dozen highway lights out of action,
                                        possibly creating a safety issue. Please contact the appropriate authorities to
                                        prevent this situation from getting worse than it already is.

                                        And this, from Steve Fleischer:

                                        Is it just me, or do our highways and streets look like trash dumps in the last
                                        few years? I notice this particularly on the Norwood Lateral, which I travel

                                        Why cannot the tires, etc., be cleaned up on a regular basis? Is this a struggle
                                        between the city of Norwood and the state? It just hacks me off to see all this
                                        trash, and makes Cincinnati look like a dump! It did not look this way 10-20
                                        years ago. Any answers?


                                        Norwood and Cincinnati share maintenance responsibilities for the highway .
                                        Norwood covers the area from Interstate 71 to just east of Reading Road;
                                        Cincinnati handles the rest.

                                        Both Tom White, Norwood's new superintendent of public works, and Denny
                                        Meyer, superintendent of neighborhood operations for Cincinnati,
                                        acknowledged that the Lateral's appearance is awful. White called it an
                                        "eyesore and embarrassing." Both cited the cold and snowy weather for a lack
                                        of attention recently.

                                        White said cleaning it up is a priority for the new city administration. He said
                                        crews will be out beginning Tuesday morning, and he hopes to have them out
                                        there monthly.

                                        Meyer said he'll send someone out to take a look, and a cleanup will be
                                        scheduled in Cincinnati's area. He also said monthly cleanups are the goal.

                                        Volunteers sometimes help with ramp cleanup, Meyer said, but work along the
                                        Lateral itself usually requires a police escort because of traffic and safety

                                        White said he is aware of the problem with the lights, and a contractor will be
                                        checking those.

[All aerial photos by Larry Stulz]

This 3-level interchange and first segment of the Lateral as far as Reading Rd. opened
simultaneously with the Paddock Rd. to Northside extension of I-75 in 1958.

A never-used overpass for the subway originally stood here at the site of the
Paddock Rd. interchange.

A view of the Reading Rd. interchange, looking north.

Another view of the Reading Rd. interchange, but looking south.  At this point the
Lateral diverges from the subway route and moves south to parallel the B&O mainline.

View of the short viaduct over the B&O mainline.  The Section Rd. overpass is at right, and marks the point
where the Lateral returns to the old subway right-of-way.  The necessity of this elevated section is unlear, since
its construction was almost certainly more expensive than acquisition of the small building at center.

Looking west from the Section Red. overpass.

View of the Lateral's center mile looking west, with the B&O mainline at left.
The Montgomery Ave./Seymour Ave. interchange ramps can be seen at center, and
the Reading Rd. interchange can be seen toward the top of the photo.

View of Montgomery Rd. at Seymour Ave..  Norwood's main
business district is at bottom left, and the General Motors plant
was formerly located where the new white building is at right.

View looking north at Forest Ave., just east of the above photo.  More of the old General Motors plant was located
at bottom left and bottom center.  The plant closed in 1988, but the large site was completely redeveloped as seen
here by the mid-1990's.  The eastern of the two Norwood subway tunnels existed under the complex of
buildings at center.

View looking west at the I-71 interchange.   The Lateral's interchange with I-71 is also
the site of a local interchange with Ridge Rd.  The Norfolk Southern mainline can be seen
at center right.

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