Tuesday, April 27, 1999

Extras for highway may cost

Ft. Washington Way project changes are headed to council

The Cincinnati Enquirer

        The $146.9 million price tag for Fort Washington Way is likely to go up soon.

        It's not cost overruns that would add money. Rather, it's additions that have been tagged on to the project since it was first conceived.

        Fort Washington Way reconstruction was originally designed to narrow and improve safety on the highway stretching from the Brent Spence Bridge to the Lytle Tunnel.

        But there have been five add-ons since construction started last summer on the downtown freeway, and there have been several modifications.

        Among the improvements: an $18 million, two-tiered Second Street that would serve as a transit center for cars, buses and proposed light rail, and $6.9 million in ramps connecting Second Street in Cincinnati with the Clay Wade Bailey Bridge.

        Money for the projects is lined up from several different sources, from the federal government to the Ohio Department of Transportation.

        But an exact dollar amount for the changes hasn't been tallied yet, said John Deatrick, Fort Washington Way project manager.

        “They are literally still working on the numbers as we speak,” he said.

        The numbers should go to city council members in the next two weeks. They will decide whether the new projects will be added.

        “City council does have a choice,” Mr. Deatrick said. “They can say no to some of these things.”

        Fort Washington Way is still on schedule to open in August 2000.


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