Friday, October 26, 2001

Sidewalks for shoppers

Colerain Ave. project aims to link areas

By Angela T. Koenig
Enquirer Contributor

        COLERAIN TOWNSHIP — The most often-asked question of township officials these days is: What is that being built on Colerain Avenue, near Northgate Mall?

        Construction is under way on a pedestrian overpass and road improvements that officials say will provide easier access at one of the busiest retail corridors in the county.

        The Ohio Department of Transportation project is taking place along about a one-mile stretch of Colerain Avenue, between Springdale Road and Commons Circle.

        According to ODOT project supervisor Paul Brettschneider, the estimated $2.77 million project includes street widening, turn lane adjustments, berms, gutters and new drives.

        The most visible improvement, however, will be the installation of sidewalks and the pedestrian overpass, which will link Northgate Mall in the west to strip center malls to the east.

        “Historically, it's not very a pedestrian-friendly corridor, and we're trying to change that,” said assistant township administrator Frank Birkenhauer.

        The improvements, Mr. Birkenhauer said, will provide much-needed relief to traffic congestion and give people an alternate route from driving to do their shopping.

        The bulk of the cost is being funded by ODOT, with some improvements to water mains funded by Cincinnati Waterworks. The township may kick in some money to upgrade the type of fencing used on the walkway and to provide signs and a township logo, said township administrator David Foglesong.

        Coincidentally, upgrades at Northgate Mall are planned as well, said mall manager Jerry Weller: “It happens to coincide with the timing; but it all works well for us.”

        Mr. Weller said between $4 million and $5 million is planned for improvements such as changing the mall decor, improving the restrooms, remodeling the food court and adding tenants.

        Though the road project is not expected to be complete until spring, most work will take place in the coming months, Mr. Brettschneider said.


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