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City manager proposes $600,000 fix for East Price Hill's landslide-prone Elberon Avenue

Posted at 5:07 PM, May 08, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-09 01:39:45-04

CINCINNATI — Add another $600,000 to the cost of keeping Cincinnati’s hillsides in place.

In a Monday memo to Mayor John Cranley and members of City Council, City Manager Patrick Duhaney wrote East Price Hill’s Elberon Avenue needs nearly as much TLC as the slipping and sliding turf overlooking Columbia Parkway. Landslides on both roads have already forced prolonged closures, and more could be in store unless the city acts to reinforce landslide barriers.

“The soil on Elberon Avenue is vulnerable to sliding at any time and any movement could lead to an extended closure of the curbside lane for cleanup and repair work,” Duhaney wrote, adding later: “Much like the situation on Columbia Parkway, Elberon Avenue does not present an easy solution for preventing further earth movement/soil encroachment.”

However, like Columbia Parkway, Elberon could benefit from the installation of a new retaining wall — one similar to but much smaller than the $10 million parkway project proposed in February.

Duhaney recommended the city build a 200-foot-long, 12-foot-tall retaining wall around Elberon’s “slide zone” and estimated the cost of such a project around $600,000.

“DOTE (the Department of Transportation and Engineering) is currently working with the Administration to identify a funding source,” he wrote. “Once a funding source is identified it will be presented to Council for review and feedback as soon as possible.”

Elberon is the site of landslides, some of which have forced multiple days of closure, each spring. Greater Cincinnati's soil composition and past development practices have left many miles of roadway affected by hillside movement, especially when the ground is saturated with rain.

According to Duhaney and others, landslides on Elberon, Columbia and other vulnerable roadways will only become more frequent without investment in longterm solutions. The cost of cleanup totals tens of thousands of city dollars each year.