The two-mile stretch of hillside stabilization along Columbia Parkway has been completed, city officials announced Thursday. The road will completely reopen next month.
The stretch of road was plagued with landslides for years, but the project, which began in 2019 should prevent further delays and help stop the slopes of eastern Cincinnati from retreating into the Ohio River. The project took two years to complete and cost $17.6 million.
In "a few weeks," the westbound lanes will reopen after some paving and other tasks, officials said.
Cincinnati's Department of Transportation and Engineering said in a release that the state of the roadway was a threat to public safety in 2019.
"Mud and debris frequently (spilled) over existing retaining walls onto the roadway, prompting emergency closures along the five-lane thoroughfare that carries approximately 30,000 vehicles a day from the city’s east side into downtown," the department said.
Since spring 2019, crews have terraced the steepest parts of the hillside along Columbia Parkway and placed more than 3,600 "soil nails," which are drilled 30 to 50 feet into the bedrock. A heavy metal mesh was also installed.
“The project was completed on time and within budget amid a challenging environment," said John Brazina, director of Cincinnati’s Department of Transportation and Engineering, complimenting the companies that completed the job.
Columbia Parkway was built in the 1930s as a public works project. The current hill stabilization project extends from Bains Street to just east of the William Howard Taft Road-Torrence Parkway intersection in East Walnut Hills.