Friday, August 24, 2001

Delays plague Ky. 17 stretch

By Patrick Crowley
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        INDEPENDENCE — Workers are scrambling to finish a new leg of Ky. 17 in Kenton County before winter sets in, a state highway department official said Thursday.

        The $20 million reconstruction project is snarling traffic in one of the fastest-growing areas of Northern Kentucky, Kenton County south of Interstate 275, from Covington into Independence and the southern end of the county.

        Any delay in the project, originally scheduled to be completed in November, will mean more congestion along Ky. 17, a winding, hilly stretch where traffic crawls during morning and afternoon rush hours.

        “We're still hoping to have the project done this year,” said Greg Kreutzjans of the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet's Fort Mitchell district office.

        “But if we don't get the Fowler Creek bridge done in early November, chances are the road won't be open this year,” Mr. Kreutzjans said Thursday.

        The bridge is 75 feet high and spans Fowler Creek. Problems with building the bridge because of the terrain have caused unexpected delays, Mr. Kreutzjans said.

        “Hopefully, with some good weather we'll get the project completed on time.”

        The new Ky. 17 runs from the existing Ky.17 at Hands Pike, where the Pleasure Isle swimming pool once stood, and across Fowler Creek. It eventually ties into Pelly Road near Summit View Elementary School just north of Independence's main business district.

        Karen Collins, who with her husband, Lenny, operates the Nicholson Service Center auto-repair business just south of Independence, said residents have gotten used to the congestion.

        “We've been dealing with it for so long, if it's delayed we'll just deal with it,” Mrs. Collins said.


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