THE RIVER CITY NEWS MORE COVINGTON NEWS THAN ANY OTHER SOURCE
The City of Covington will host a meeting next week to hear feedback on the remaining possible plans for a new Brent Spence Bridge. Today the City issued a press release outlining its concerns with "Alternative I" and its impact on Covington:
Access issues:The public meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, April 11, from 5:00 - 8:00PM at City Hall in the Commission Chambers.
Northbound: Instead of having direct access to 5th Street like there is today, motorists would need to exit at 12th Street and then travel on a new, one-way, local road (Jillians Way) from 12th to 5th through several traffic signals in Alternative I that is being recommended. The City feels direct access to 5th Street from the collector distributor road is necessary.
Southbound: Alternative I does provide access to 5th Street and 9th Street from SB I-75. However, the decision point is located one mile north of the Ohio River near the Museum Center at Ezzard Charles. If you miss this exit, your next opportunity to exit in Kentucky from I-75 southbound will occur at Kyles Lane in Fort Wright. There is no opportunity to exit into Covington once the City is visible or once you cross the bridge into Kentucky. The City feels direct access from I-75 southbound into Covington on the Kentucky side of the bridge is necessary. The project team has looked at several options and has determined a direct ramp from I-75 SB to 9th Street is feasible.
Clay Wade Bailey Bridge: Alternative I currently shows connections from the Clay Wade Bailey Bridge to I-75 northbound and to Clay Wade Bailey Bridge from I-75 southbound. The City feels these connections would improve access into the City's Riverfront area and better utilize this bridge. There have been talks about removing these connections from the project and we want to advocate that they remain.
Impact to Goebel Pool:
The City feels that Goebel Pool will become unusable once the Brent Spence Bridge project is built. The noise studies taken at and around the pool already exceed the acceptable levels for a recreational facility. This project will bring the roadway even closer to the pool and noise projections show the noise levels will increase even further beyond the acceptable range. In addition, the proximity of the road will also create issues with cleaning the pool. The City feels we should be compensated for the loss of the usefulness of the pool, or the pool should be relocated as part of the project.
Access to Devou Park if Lewis is closed:
In Alternative I, the plans show the connection from Pike Street to Lewis being closed. This currently acts as one of the major access points into Devou Park. If the connection to Lewis is removed, the City feels off street parking needs to be provided along Montague and road improvements on Montague need to be made in order for this to become a 2-way road and an entrance to the park.
Mitigation for impacts to Goebel Park and Lewisburg:
As part of the 4f and 6f environmental processes associated with roadway projects, the project team is required to mitigate the impacts to parks and historical areas. Goebel Park and Lewisburg both fall into this category and will be impacted by the project. The City would like to make sure the recommendations that have been made by the City, SD1, residents, and other stakeholders are implemented into the project. For Lewisburg, the City is recommending a façade grant program, a purchase rehab program, demolition of non-contributing buildings, and/or the Charles Zimmer Memorial Path as a re-connection from Lewisburg to commercial and recreational areas of the City. For Goebel Park, SD1 developed a plan incorporating Green Infrastructure into the park along with improvements recommended by the public (parking, walking trails/boardwalk, basketball court, etc.)