Residents of Hyde Park and Oakley can learn more about a bridge closure that will impact their communities during a public information session Monday evening.
Cincinnati officials say the bridge on Marburg Avenue at the intersections of Wasson Way and Greenhouse Lane is old and needs to be replaced.
Transportation and Engineering Director Michael Moore said the city did consider a partial closure for the construction work, but worried about safety.
"Were we to try to construct this in halves, there's going to be a point at which we have got a portion of the bridge that's under traffic," Moore said. "And the contractor is going to be lifting materials over and below that. That's not a particularly safe situation."
The city said the span carries about 14,000 vehicles a day. According to the current schedule, construction work would begin on March 1. The bridge itself would be closed on April 1 and demolition would begin immediately. The city said it would re-open on October 31, if not sooner. The contracts for the bridge replacement include heavy liquidated damages for the company doing to work if it misses the October 31 deadline.
Some Hyde Park residents have told officials they would prefer a partial closing, instead of the full closure. Carl Uebelacker addressed a city council committee last week.
"Yes it's going to be more expensive, yes it would take two construction seasons to potentially do," Uebelacker said. "But the impact of it would be substantially less than a complete closure. And that's the scary part, complete closure for six months."
Residents fear the closing will lead to traffic gridlock on the streets around the closed bridge. It could also temporarily take away some on-street parking spaces, and reduce traffic for business districts in the neighborhoods.
Besides neighborhood traffic, the bridge carries commuter traffic from Mt. Washington, Anderson Township and parts of Clermont County. Commuters use the route to get to I-71. The city has said it will be installing signage, in advance of the project, so those drivers know to seek alternate routes.
The public information session on the bridge project is being held Monday evening from 6:30 to 8:00 at the Oakley Recreation Center, 3882 Paxton Avenue.