Sunday, May 14, 2000

Pieces of FWW will remain

Recycled dirt, steel, concrete saves money

By Mark Curnutte
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        The old Fort Washington Way is gone, but it's not forgotten.

        Steel, concrete and even dirt that were part of the original downtown interstate connector are being recycled, and the effort saved taxpayers money upfront on the $313 million project.

        “The savings are in the contractors' prices, in the cost of the bid,” said Don Gindling, project construction manager.

        Anything that can be reused has been or will be:

        Dirt. By the time the highway is finished in August, more than 655,000 cubic yards of dirt will have been excavated from the site. It is being used as fill material along the highway and between the south retaining wall and the floodwall, and will be used for riverfront parking and extending the street grid.

        Steel. More than 1 million tons of steel — bridge beams and rebar — have been removed. It is being used as temporary supports for Fort Washington Way structures under construction. All beams become property of con tractors for use on other projects or to sell as scrap.

        Contractors are getting about 15 cents a pound, or $300 a ton, for used steel.

        New steel costs about $2 a pound, or $4,000 a ton, said Jeff Wallace, spokesman for Parsons Brinckerhoff Ohio, the lead consultant for the road project.

        Concrete. The 3,000 tons of concrete removed from the previous roadway will be crushed and reused as granular fill in projects around Greater Cincinnati. The concrete is being hauled from Fort Washington Way, pulverized into rubble and sold to contractors.

        Light poles. Ones that used to light the old Fort Washington Way and Third Street are being used as replacements on interstate highways.

        Overhead signs. Most old signs will be sold as scrap, although some of the letters, numbers and symbols will be reused.

        “We are committed to reusing as much of these materials as possible on city projects,” said John Deatrick, director of Transportation and Engineering for the City of Cincinnati and project manager of the Fort Washington Way project.

        The new highway, to stretch between the Brent Spence Bridge and Lytle Tunnel, is designed to open up riverfront land for development.


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