Thursday, October 19, 2000

Ft. Washington Way widens

But that requires weekend pregame closing

By James Pilcher
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        City officials Wednesday said three lanes of eastbound Fort Washington Way will open as promised Sunday morning.

        They also said they hope to open a reconnected Second Street that will run from Elm to Walnut streets and down a new ramp to Broadway/Pete Rose Way in time for Sunday's Bengals game.

        “This is going to bring a lot of relief for those traveling from Northern Kentucky,” said Don Gindling, the city's supervising engineer for the $314 million reconstruction of Fort Washington Way.

        But the extra driving space will come at a cost. The eastbound lanes of the mainline trench that connects Interstates 71 and 75 will close at 10 p.m. Friday and remain closed until Sunday morning — no later than 8 a.m., Mr. Gindling said.

        The closure is to allow for paving and lane painting. Mr. Gindling would not promise Second Street would open at the same time, saying Sunday morning was nothing more than a target date.

        “It could be Monday or Tuesday morning,” Mr. Gindling said.

        Originally scheduled to open Aug. 15 with the rest of the project, Second Street has been delayed several times. Currently, it is operating in two sections with an incomplete portion between Vine and Main streets keeping traffic from flowing normally.

        Planners hope the one-way, eastbound street eventually will handle local traffic formerly routed along the main Fort Washing ton Way highway.

        Mr. Gindling said the extra lane of Fort Washington Way will ease northbound congestion along the Brent Spence Bridge, since two lanes will be able to exit for I-71 north.

        He also said that the final configuration of Second Street will prohibit those approaching from the Clay Wade Bailey Bridge, I-75 south or U.S. 50 east from taking a left turn onto Elm Street, although there will be only white lines and no barriers preventing such merges.

        Those exiting onto Second from I-71/75 north can turn left onto Elm.


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