Tuesday, December 05, 2000

Duck Creek flood-control project balloons

By Allen Howard
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        FAIRFAX — After 14 years of planning by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and court battles to acquire land, the $36 million Duck Creek Flood Protection Project is on hold.

        Linda Murphy, project manager for the Corps, said the cost to build the project had escalated during delays to acquire land along the creek.

        The original cost to build a series of flood walls, pump stations and levees along 3.8 miles of Duck Creek was $14 million. It has escalated to $36 million.

        “We had to update plans and specifications and figure in the increased material and labor cost,” Ms. Murphy said.

        The Corps started a study of the creek in 1986 after the village of Fairfax and city of Cincinnati requested it.

        Initially, the village was expected to spend $928,000 as its share. The city would spend $3.2 million.

        The local share was spent acquiring land, relocating businesses, conducting surveys and appraisals.

        Fairfax Administrator Jennifer Kaminer said the village has received $1.5 million from the state of Ohio to widen parts of Red Bank Road near the creek.

        “The widening of Red Bank was scheduled to be done along with the flood-protection project. If we don't get the flood-protection project cleared before July, we will have to reapply for the state funds to fix Red Bank,” she said.

        The Corps' feasibility study determined the creek was causing a considerable amount of flood damage, especially to businesses in Fairfax.

        About 28 businesses in Fairfax and several Cincinnati neighborhoods sustain an average of $2 million in damages a year when heavy rain pushes the creek past its banks, Corps officials said.

        The creek starts in Kennedy Heights and zigzags across several communities until it flows into the Little Miami River.


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