Additional Riverside Drive retaining walls will cost city $10.5 million to save slipping East End

City coughs up another $10.5M for East End wall
Posted at 12:28 PM, Aug 02, 2017

CINCINNATI -- Saving the East End from slipping into the Ohio River is going to come at a cost -- another $10.5 million for the time being.

The city has already spent $10 million constructing a 1,200-foot-long retaining wall to protect homes, buildings, and water, sewer and utility lines under Riverside Drive between Vance and Hazen streets.

At City Council’s neighborhoods committee meeting Wednesday morning, city leaders said they’re working on a cost-sharing method to ease taxpayer dollars and construct phase two of the wall both east and west of the finished portion. That second phase could begin construction in as little as four to six weeks and be completed within six months' time.

The city has been monitoring the area for years, noting slippages of a tenth-of-an-inch a year. But that changed this winter, according to City Engineer Don Gindling. 

"Between November and January we noticed considerable acceleration of movement, so instead of a tenth-of-an-inch a year, we're now looking at several inches per month, so the movement is very accelerated," Gindling said in February.

Dr. Terry Joyner has lived on Riverside Drive for 17 years and told WCPO in May that she was using just one side of her driveway because the sliding hillside had pushed the concrete up at her home.

“I'm encouraged,” Joyner said at the committee meeting Wednesday. “We knew the city was working with us so a solution could be found. I'm encouraged, but I'm also worried, a little, about the timeline."

Lew Seiler, chair of the East End Area Council hillside committee, said his initial reaction is very positive.

“I think the city has stepped up to the plate and taken the necessary steps to protect its infrastructure,” Seiler said.