Friday, May 18, 2001

Last paving of road to start

Fort Washington Way westbound to be closed

By Tom O'Neill
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        Consider it the final brush stroke on a $313 million painting — with stripes down the middle.

        Nearly three years of construction that began in August 1998 will be capped with the final paving of the Fort Washington Way trench this weekend.

        A reconfigured Fort Washington Way is a key element of the city's attempt to reconnect with the Ohio riverfront.

        The riverfront is now home to the Bengals' Paul Brown Stadium, and will be the site of the new Reds' park, to open in 2003, and the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center to open the next year.

        Residential and commercial development also is being considered, and the new Fort Washington Way, which for decades served as a sort of moat dividing downtown and the stadium, will now be a connector.

        The paving was to have been completed last August, but was delayed because of heavy construction equipment used to install the decorative panels on the trench walls. Then, when the panel work was completed by late fall, it was too cold to beginning paving.

        • FWW west will be reduced to three lanes today from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. It will reopen fully for rush hour, then be reduced to three lanes again from 9 p.m. to midnight.

        • Beginning at noon Saturday, all lanes will be closed. They will reopen at 5 a.m. Monday. The weekend detour will be Third Street.

        • Eastbound lanes will be paved overnight beginning the weekend of June 1, with a similar schedule to west-lane paving. The detour will be Second Street.


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