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Covington Plaza reimagines the riverfront, opens Friday

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Posted at 6:29 PM, Jun 16, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-17 09:19:40-04

COVINGTON, Ky. — A major transformation on Covington’s riverfront is now complete, making the area more walkable and accessible. The finished Covington Plaza stretches from Greenup Street to Madison Overlook — a journey that took two years to complete.

“It was pretty much a rough riverbank” before, said Crestview Hills resident Gene Taylor.

Rough for recreational trailwalking, which Taylor does three times a week, and rough for the riverboat restaurants anchored in the Ohio River. Debt, bankruptcy and the occasional flood had driven them all away by the time plaza construction began in 2019.

The plaza is a new thesis statement for the riverfront, said Dan Hassert, Communications Manager for the City of Covington.

"This is about reconnecting to the river physically, symbolically, spiritually,” he said. “It's about letting the people come down and just appreciate what we have down here."

It’s also part of a larger, multi-city plan to create a Riverfront Commons, an 11-mile walking and biking path from Ludlow to Fort Thomas.

The plaza’s additions to the journey include an amphitheater, two walking paths and a pier to launch kayaks and canoes.

Hassert’s got one convert already: Bryson Herr, a traveling Connecticut man who googled “best place to see Cincinnati” and found himself looking at the Queen City skyline from Covington Plaza.

“It’s a great park,” Herr said Wednesday. "If I lived here – I have a dog – I'd walk my dog here all the time."

Covington leaders such as Hassert hope that feeling is widespread.

"This fits neatly in there, just making Covington more of a place people want to come on a Saturday morning and just kind of walk around all day and enjoy,” Hassert said.

The city will officially dedicate and open the plaza Friday night. The celebration includes food trucks and live music.