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Riverside Drive to close for five weeks; two lanes of Columbia Parkway to Reopen

Posted: 3:55 PM, Jun 07, 2019
Updated: 2019-06-07 15:55:50-04
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CINCINNATI — A section of Riverside Drive that has been plagued with flooding and draining issues for decades will close starting Monday so crews can start much-needed storm sewer repairs.

The road will be closed for five weeks between Kemper Lane and Hazen street. It will reopen Saturday, July 13.

The repairs just couldn't wait, even though the city is dealing with another long-term repair job on Columbia Parkway for landslide issues, said Cincinnati City Engineer Don Gindling.

But the simultaneous construction isn't expected to have a larger impact in the area than it already has, Gindling said. On Monday, the same day that Riverside Drive will close, two lanes in-bound and two lanes out-bound will reopen on Columbia Parkway, easing congestion.

Department of Transportation and Engineering Director Joesph Vogel acknowledged the timing of both projects was less than ideal.

"It's been a challenging effort to try to balance the work that we already had planned, which includes this Riverside Drive rehab, with the surprises we had on Columbia parkway this year," Vogel said. "As you know, it's been a terrible year for landslides."

Ginlding said the city received a grant to do the work on Riverside Drive, and if they don't use the money now, they'll lose it. He said the project on neighboring Columbia Parkway would cause the curb-lane to be closed for at least two years, and the Riverside Drive project just couldn't wait.

Riverside Drive near Kemper and Hazen has had chronic flooding locations for decades, said City Stormwater Engineer Eric Saylor.

"Basically it's a giant bowl where storm water comes from both directions, so we are replacing all of the storm water infrastructure," Saylor said.

The five-week project is part of a larger "Riverside Drive Rehabilitation Project" funded by both the city and the state that will be completed by November of this year.

The project will mainly affect the areas directly surrounding the Rookwood Railway Overpass Project, said Engineer Lisa Rowel. She said detour signs will be posted, and that pedestrians and bikes will still be able to use the road construction. The road will be closed to vehicle traffic, but Rowell said residents can get to their homes by accessing Eggleston or Stanley avenues.

After this section of the Riverside Drive issue is resolved, Vogel said the city will move on to the "mega-fix" need to repair ongoing landslide damage on Columbia Parkway. That project is expected to begin later this year, but he said definitely not before Riverside Drive is reopened.