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Cincinnati: Western Hills Viaduct

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2 hours ago, thebillshark said:

Current Plan:

 

48072884736_5250f355fb_b.jpg

 

Plan I created this morning that would be significantly cheaper (using a single deck bridge vs. double deck), minimize demolition including the electric substation, make the interstate interchange usable for the West End as well as the West Side, and free up over 10 acres of urban core land along Central Parkway for development:

 

48072992697_ce3bb0f930_b.jpg

 

The Winchell on-ramp collects traffic from Bank, Findlay, and Liberty.  I think that they'd want that access maintained, although honestly, it doesn't appear to get anywhere close to the use that the wideness of Winchell insinuates. 

 

 

 

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6 minutes ago, jmecklenborg said:

 

The Winchell on-ramp collects traffic from Bank, Findlay, and Liberty.  I think that they'd want that access maintained, although honestly, it doesn't appear to get anywhere close to the use that the wideness of Winchell insinuates. 

 

 

 

 

True, I used it all the time when I lived in OTR. But in my plan Winchell still exists but the on-ramp is simply moved one block north. I think that’s a good compromise in exchange for having a full highway interchange accessible for the West End there. 


www.cincinnatiideas.com

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^Oh, I see that now. 

 

I'd like to see the traffic count for cars that travel across the viaduct and then up the McMillan St. hill.  It might be an amazingly low number.  I know that during off-peak hours it's a pretty sleepy intersection. 

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34 minutes ago, jmecklenborg said:

^Oh, I see that now. 

 

I'd like to see the traffic count for cars that travel across the viaduct and then up the McMillan St. hill.  It might be an amazingly low number.  I know that during off-peak hours it's a pretty sleepy intersection. 

 

Right! How many millions are we spending on this design just to keep that part of the project. Could we avoid moving the substation (maybe ~$10 million) or avoid building a double decker Viaduct (maybe ~$100 million?) And how much would it actually slow a few people down to make a few turns to proceed on to McMillan? 1 or 2 minutes? It’s a cost that if it was actually transferred onto the drivers benefitting they could never pay it. Would “Uptown stakeholders” throw a fit?


www.cincinnatiideas.com

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I saw a quote that not moving the substation would save 35million (which seems crazy) so they were going to wiggle more to the north to avoid it. Just what you need in your bridge, a 'wiggle'.

 

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I thought after all the streetcar drama that it's on the utilities to move for road projects, but not rail projects.  Didn't Duke have to eat the cost of moving their substation next to Brent Spence? 

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8 minutes ago, taestell said:

^ That probably only applies to utilities that are under the streets, not things like substations on privately owned land.

Recall that the appeals court ruling was that since the City built the streetcar for economic development purposes and not with regards to health, safety and welfare, the city had to pay. Looking at it again, it's appalling how ridiculous this ruling was.

 

https://www.bizjournals.com/cincinnati/news/2016/05/04/ohio-supreme-court-makes-ruling-on-duke.html

 

"At the appellate court level, the three justices unanimously affirmed then-Hamilton County Common Pleas Judge Carl Stitch’s ruling. It said that the city’s construction of the streetcar “did not bear a substantial relation to the public’s health, safety, morals or general welfare” and instead was a proprietary function."


“All truly great thoughts are conceived while walking.”
-Friedrich Nietzsche

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You’ve probably never heard of them. But they could decide the fate of the Western Hills Viaduct or your local intersection.

 

The key passage here:

 

Quote

“The obvious reason is that (Metro) knows nothing about how to rank and rate road and bridge projects in terms of need and improvement,” Seitz said. “The integrating committee, on the other hand, has a 30-year-plus history of doing just that.”

 

Seitz won’t tell anyone how to vote in March, when Metro’s tax is likely to be on the ballot. But “I’m going to be upfront and say, ‘Hey, folks, if you really want your infrastructure to be upgraded, this is a perfect opportunity to put your money where your mouth is,’” he said. “Everyone wants to say, ‘When are they going to fix the Western Hills Viaduct?’ And the answer is, when we get the money to do it.”

 


“All truly great thoughts are conceived while walking.”
-Friedrich Nietzsche

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How much does the city have and how much did it just ask for on Western Hills Viaduct project?

 

Cincinnati City Council voted unanimously Wednesday to apply for $150 million in federal money to replace the Western Hills Viaduct, a $335 million project.

 

So far, the city and Hamilton County have gathered about $100 million in funds for the project in state, federal and local funds.

 

The viaduct replacement’s construction costs are expected to be $284 million, with a total project cost of $335 million. Both the city and the county have said that it is their top transportation priority.

 

More below:

https://www.bizjournals.com/cincinnati/news/2020/03/05/how-much-does-the-city-have-and-how-much-did-it.html

 

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"You don't just walk into a bar and mix it up by calling a girl fat" - buildingcincinnati speaking about new forumers

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I wonder how much it would cost to relocate the rail yards instead, and just get rid of this whole viaduct nonsense altogether.  They were built here for historical reasons, and then expanded when urban industrial areas were collapsing, but there's not really any need for it to be so close to downtown.  Sharonville had a much larger yard in the past, and getting a couple of warehouse buildings out of the way would provide a similar amount of space out there.  Of course, redeveloping the freed up space into more low-density industrial like the rest of Queensgate wouldn't be of any benefit, and I don't see city leaders coming up with anything more creative than that, so oh well. 

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Wouldn't you still need a viaduct to get across the valley due to the topography? Are you suggesting that if the rail yard were moved, the new viaduct would be cheaper because you could build a structure with more supports rather than a long cable-stayed span?

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No I'm saying without the rail yards it could just be a surface street, kind of like Gest, or Hopple between Spring Grove and I-75.  The whole point of the viaducts was to cross the many railroads and yards, not so much for topography.  There'd still be a bridge over Mill Creek, and a couple of railroad overpasses, but nothing like what's there now.  I know it's a complete pipe dream. 

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On google earth you will occasionally see a very large rail yard out in the middle of nowhere.  I don't know where one could go anywhere near Cincinnati that would serve the same purpose as Queensgate.  If General Electric ever closes down, that location would be ideal since it sits at the junction of several lines near the existing Sharonville yard.  Another possibility...Tri-County Mall.  Another possibility...Butler County Airport, but they'd have to build a new airport somewhere else in the county. 

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It depends on whether the money will be limited to state and federal highways, or if cities/counties will be able to apply for funding for local projects.

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Western Hills Viaduct gets more money; here’s where the project stands

 

Three years after they started applying for and receiving state and federal funds for the key connection between the West Side and the rest of the region, Cincinnati and Hamilton County have received another major grant for the Western Hills Viaduct project.

 

More below:

https://www.bizjournals.com/cincinnati/news/2020/04/14/western-hills-viaduct-gets-more-money-here-s-where.html


"You don't just walk into a bar and mix it up by calling a girl fat" - buildingcincinnati speaking about new forumers

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