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City Council Gets Update On Western Hills Viaduct

The aging Western Hills Viaduct is reaching the end of its design life and replacement planning is underway.
The aging Western Hills Viaduct is reaching the end of its design life and replacement planning is underway.
WesternHills2.jpg
Credit Provided / City of Cincinnati
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Some residents and political leaders have recently suggested the aging Western Hills Viaduct needs more attention.  

Cincinnati Transportation Director Michael Moore told a city council committee Wednesday work is happening.

“I think there’s this impression that there’s nothing that’s happening right now,” Moore said.  “But there is a lot of work that is ongoing in the background and it’s maybe not that we’re out with public meetings like we have been for a while.  But there is a lot of things that are happening and I think are making this progress toward, perhaps not as quickly as we would all like, but certainly progressing toward a good result.”

The city and Hamilton County are working together on the project.

Cincinnati lawyers are researching the question of who owns the Western Hills Viaduct.  The city said Hamilton County owns it and the city maintains it under a contract.  

But County Engineer Ted Hubbard said the city and even the State of Ohio has an ownership interest in the viaduct.

“I believe that we all are tied to this, and to me that’s a good thing,” Hubbard said.  “Because historically we’ve been successful in getting these types of projects done.  And I believe the people we have on the field will get it done.”

Moore said officials will need another $8 to $10 million to complete design work on a viaduct replacement.  Another $200 to $225 million would be needed for construction.  

The Western Hills Viaduct was built in 1932 and currently carries about 55,000 vehicles a day.  It is rated structurally deficient and functionally obsolete.  

The new bridge would be built south of the existing viaduct and would be a double-deck structure.  Right now, in a best case scenario, the project wouldn't be completed until 2024.

 

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