Permanent fix to Columbia Parkway landslides is in the works, city manager says

Posted at 1:45 PM, Mar 11, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-11 14:02:28-04

CINCINNATI — A long-term solution to the landslides that have repeatedly closed Columbia Parkway could be on the way, but it won't be cheap.

In a Monday memo updating the City Council and mayor on Columbia Parkway — which was closed westbound between William Howard Taft Road and Kemper Lane due to yet another landslide over the weekend — City Manager Patrick Duhaney wrote that a report on the solution and a draft funding ordinance will be released at the end of the month.

Construction for a permanent solution to landslides between the Bains Street exit and Torrence Parkway is estimated at $10 million, according to Duhaney.

One recent landslide already a retaining wall failure that required a $1 million emergency repair, according to Duhaney. Last month, he said the city had spent more than $145,000 for clean-up costs in the past 14 months.

The city manager has previously outlined what the solution may look like: a new, higher wall on the north side of Columbia Parkway. It wasn't immediately clear how long that would take to build.

"The constant closing of the Parkway is incredibly inconvenient to the thousands of commuters who rely on it every day; however, closing it is necessary to allow City workers to address the public safety risks posed by the landslides," Duhaney wrote.

Until a permanent fix is in place, we should expect the landslides to continue, Eric Russo of The Hillside Trust previously told WCPO. He said the retaining wall has never been tall enough to handle the slippage of soil onto the parkway, and the way in which engineers cut into the hillside to build the parkway also created problems.