Sunday, November 26, 2000

Last call to comment on new bridge

By Earnest Winston
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        HAMILTON — The Ohio Department of Transportation will host another in a series of meetings Tuesday to help decide the design of the new High Street bridge over the Great Miami River.

        “This is a very important meeting because we are in the final stages of making a decision on how the bridge should look,” said Hans Jindal, a planning and environmental engineer with ODOT's District 8 office in Lebanon.

        Comments from the public meeting, which will begin at 5:30 p.m., will help ODOT establish a memorandum of agreement. The location of the meeting has not been determined.

        “The memorandum of agreement is the agreement between all the stakeholders, all the concerned parties like the Ohio Historical Society and the (Ohio) Department of Transportation, and any other interested party,” Mr. Jindal said.

        Jay Antenen, chairman of the Citizens for Historic Preservation Services “Save the Bridge Committee,” said his group remains opposed to replacing the bridge.

        “We will continue to oppose ODOT's plan to replace the bridge,” Mr. Antenen said, “and feel that they should instead rehabilitate the existing bridge.”

        Mr. Antenen said the 600-foot bridge is structurally sound, the traffic across the bridge is much less than ODOT's count and the cost of detours would be “tremendous.”

        The four-lane bridge will be replaced with a six-lane bridge. More than 32,000 cars a day use the bridge, built in 1915, according to ODOT. That number is expected to grow to 43,000 by 2020, a 34 percent increase.

        Construction could start in either 2003 or 2004, and take two construction seasons. The price tag: $8.5 million to $9 million.


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