Wednesday, January 23, 2002

Fort Wright might blossom with sidewalks

City, county plan $330,000 joint project

By Cindy Schroeder
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        FORT WRIGHT — City and Kenton County officials are backing a $330,000 sidewalk project they say will improve safety and access for hundreds of residents.

        The city is applying for a federal grant to build 2,200 feet of public sidewalk from the southwest side of Kyles Lane from Mount Vernon Drive to Highland Place, then along the northwest side of Highland Avenue past the Blue Grass Swim Club to its new terminus across from Wright's Point Drive. A crosswalk then would connect the sidewalk to a nearby apartment complex.

        By summer, Fort Wright officials hope to win a federal grant to pay for most of the project, said City Administrator Larry Klein.

        “We couldn't be happier,” Kathy Kreidler, manager of the Wright's Point apartment complex, t. “(Highland Avenue) has no shoulder, so for anyone who likes to bike or walk or jog, it's not safe.”

        Ms. Kreidler said the sidewalk would connect 450 to 500 residents of Wright's Point with other parts of the city that can't be safely reached on foot. Those include the city building on Kyles Lane, the Fort Wright Nature Centerand shops on Dixie Highway.

        Also benefiting would be the 1,200 families who are members of the Blue Grass Swim Club, about half of which live a short distance away.

        The cost of the sidewalk project, with contingencies, is about $330,000, Mr. Klein said. Officials hope to pay for about $250,000 of that with a federal Intermodal Surface Transportation Enhancement Act (ISTEA) grant.

        The city of Fort Wright has agreed to provide 10 to 15 percent of the needed labor and equipment. Kenton County agreed earlier this month to cover 15 percentby providing labor and excavation equipment.

        Fort Wright officials also plan to showthe location of the Civil War-era Hooper Battery on a large map on a retaining wall along the sidewalk.

        One of 28 three-sided earthen embankments built between 1861 and 1863 on Northern Kentucky hillsides from Ludlow to Fort Thomas, Hooper Battery served as a lookout and fort for Union troops during the Civil War, said Jeannine Kreinbrink, a consulting archaeologist who works with the Behringer-Crawford Museum.

        “We're really glad that Fort Wright is working to get these important fortifications marked,” she said.


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