Sunday, January 07, 2001

Two cities join in flood project




By Lew Moores
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        SHARONVILLE — Both the city and the village of Evendale have signed an agreement with the Millcreek Valley Conservancy District aimed at ensuring that their interests are represented as the district works with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to alleviate flooding along the Mill Creek.

        Christine Pope, assistant to Sharonville Mayor Virgil Lovitt, said the city is paying the district $292,000 over the next four years, while Evendale is giving them $595,000. The money helps MVCD cover operating and administrative expenses.

        MVCD is a state agency that develops right of way plans along the creek, works with utilities should relocation become necessary, and represents the interests of communities along the creek to the Corps of Engineers.

        The corps is conducting a re-evaluation of the Mill Creek for flood control along 18 miles in Hamilton County.

        “We flood a lot,” said Ms. Pope. “We've lost millions of dollars in flood damage to our businesses. With the Mill Creek there's many entities involved, and each of them has their own agenda, their own goals. Sharonville and Evendale don't want flood reduction to be forgotten.”

        Robert Jansen, chief engineer for MVCD, said the re-evaluation could take up to two years.

        “At the end of this general re-evaluation, they're going to determine the type of project,” said Mr. Jansen.

        The corps began a flood reduction project in Cincinnati, but stopped the project in 1991 after it was 43 percent completed. The corps had taken about eight miles of the creek, straightened it and channeled it into a deep concrete trough. That project's cost and concerns from environmentalists convinced the corps to abandon the project.

        What they're looking at now, said Mr. Jansen, is a more environmentally friendly project. That could include looking at a deep-tunnel approach that would involve sinking a tunnel about 200 to 400 feet below the ground.

        “It would have a twofold approach,” said Mr. Jansen. “It would be for flood control, and also help water quality. It would help to eliminate the combined sewer overflows within Mill Creek.”

        Construction could take anywhere from six to 10 years.

       



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