Thursday, June 25, 2009

Oakley open house shows Kennedy Connector preferred alternative

The City of Cincinnati and M-E Companies presented to the Oakley community the preferred alternative for the Kennedy Connector project at a public open house and comment session at the Crossroads Community Church on Tuesday evening.

The new roadway, to be called Kennedy Avenue and connecting the intersection of Kennedy Avenue/Duck Creek Road and Madison Road/Camberwell Road, is one of dozens of individual projects included in Tier 2 of the Eastern Corridor project.

According to project materials displayed by M-E Companies, the project is necessary to address the "capacity, geometry, and connectivity of the local road network".

Studies have found that peak hourly traffic volumes on Ridge Avenue and Duck Creek Road exceed the reasonable capacity of the roadways, and future development in the area is expected to cause even more congestion.

Additionally, the geometry of ramps and misaligned intersections have been found to be confusing to drivers and affect the ease of access into many of the area's new developments.

The road network, which was built to support a manufacturing and industrial base, contains too many culs-de-sac and lacks sufficient north-south capacity, and was not built to handle heavy commercial development.

These heavy traffic volumes have been cited as the cause of the majority of accidents at the intersection of Highland and Ridge avenues, one of the top five accident-prone intersections in Hamilton County.

The preferred alternative for the Kennedy Connector shows two new bridges at Duck Creek Road and the Indiana and Ohio Railway, new sidewalks, tree lawns, and retaining walls.

Ibsen Avenue will be realigned between Marburg Avenue and the new Ibsen Avenue/Kennedy Avenue intersection, two roadway connections to the I-71 southbound and OH-562 (Norwood Lateral) will be made, and a new entrance from Ridge Avenue to a Barrow Avenue cul-de-sac.

Intersections will be realigned at Kennedy and Duck Creek; Kennedy, Madison and Camberwell; Ibsen and Ridge; Ibsen and Marburg; and Alamo and Ridge.

No updated cost estimates were given Tuesday night, but 2008 estimates put the project cost at $19.3 million.