Saturday, February 23, 2002

Water project will tie up traffic


Main roads in Florence affected

By Terry Flynn
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        FLORENCE — Traveling around Florence in a car this summer will be tricky because several simultaneous infrastructure projects will drastically reduce traffic flow on some main roads.

        The biggest job will be the installation of 30-inch water lines along portions of Turfway Road, Ky. 18 (Burlington Pike), Ky. 25 (Dixie Highway) and U.S. 42. Work has started on Dixie Highway and all the affected areas will see construction through the end of the year.

        The water lines will bring 30 million gallons of water a day to Florence and Boone County as part of a $43 million project involving the purchase of water from the Cincinnati Water Works. A connector line has already been installed under the Ohio River at Anderson Ferry to connect Boone County to the Cincinnati water system.

        Florence City Administrator Jeff Koenig said there will be some temporary traffic tie-ups and the need to close some lanes for short periods of time.

        Ken Timko, an engineer with Burgess & Niple of Cincinnati, the project design company, said the contractors on the various portions of the project are required to keep two-way traffic flowing.

        “There will be backups in some areas, such as Turfway Road, when traffic is reduced to one lane,” he said.

        Turfway Road, at some points, is eight lanes wide.

        Work installing the water pipe along Dixie Highway started Feb. 4.

        Mr. Timko said pipe for the Turfway portion is scheduled to be delivered March 4 and work should begin within two or three days after delivery. The pipe will be laid from the Turfway-Houston Road intersection south along Turfway to Ky. 18. It will follow Ky. 18 for a short distance, then move through some front yards to Oblique Street, eventually linking at Dixie Highway.

        Mr. Koenig said he was told by John Rittenhouse, general manager of the Florence Water and Sewer Commission, that the U.S. 42 portion of the project is scheduled to start within 30 days.

        The entire project must be completed by Jan. 18, 2003.

        The city water commission has mailed some 7,000 maps detailing the construction areas and letters of explanation to residents who will be affected by the work over the next 10 months.

        While the pipe is being installed to bring Cincinnati water to Florence and Boone County, the city will also be involved in another, less extensive water main replacement job. And Cinergy is replacing gas lines in several parts of Florence this summer.

        “People will see a lot of construction throughout the city this summer,” Mr. Koenig said. “We're asking people to have patience in dealing with the traffic problems.”

        He said the construction should not cause any traffic backups for people coming to Florence Mall or the retail area along Houston Road near Turfway.

        “The engineers don't anticipate any problems related to getting on and off I-75, and there won't be any orange barrels,” he said. “The work at Turfway will go under the expressway, and traffic will be maintained. We know there will be backups along Turfway between Houston Road and Ky. 18 depending on where the pipeline construction is being done.”

        Mr. Koenig said most of the current infrastructure in Florence “was put in at about the same time, 30 or more years ago, so it is wearing out at about the same time. We must put up with some construction now to have good water and gas service for years to come.”

       



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- Water project will tie up traffic