The $398 million project is fully funded with state and federal grants and local-match contributions from the city and county.
(City of Cincinnati photo)
The city of Cincinnati and Hamilton County have selected the joint venture team of Walsh Group and Kokosing Construction Co. to build the Western Hills Viaduct replacement project, pending contract negotiations. Walsh is based in Chicago and Kokosing in the Columbus suburb of Westerville, Ohio.
This phase of negotiations covers pre-construction services to begin this year. The city and county selected the Walsh and Kokosing team from a short-listed number of candidates following a two-part procurement that included a request for qualifications and subsequent request for proposals.
Construction of the bridge is expected to begin by 2025.
The new bridge will be a single deck "extradosed" design that combines the major elements of cable-stay and box girder bridges. It will include a protected, shared-use path on the south side and a sidewalk on the north side to improve neighborhood connections with the addition of pedestrian and bicycle access.
The city and county are leading the effort to replace the 91-year-old viaduct, which connects to I-75 and carries 55,000 vehicles a day over the Mill Creek Valley and a large, active railroad yard with 32 tracks. The $398 million project is fully funded with state and federal grants and local-match contributions from the city and county.
The city maintains the viaduct based on a long-term agreement with the county.
Site preparation for this major project began last year with the demolition of the first of six commercial buildings in the footprint of the new bridge, which will be built 50 ft. to the south of the current viaduct. The viaduct will remain in place and continue to carry traffic until the replacement is finished in 2030.
Site preparation resumed in April with crews beginning demolition of a four-story brick building at 2261 Spring Grove Ave. in Camp Washington. It is the second of the six buildings that will be removed to make room for the future bridge and relocated utilities. Demolition of the building, located to the north of the current viaduct, is expected to be finished in July. The contractor is Cincinnati-based O'Rourke Wrecking Co.
Once cleared, the site on Spring Grove Avenue will create space for a new Duke Energy substation to be built there beginning by early 2024. The existing substation to the south will be torn down.
During the next two years, additional site preparation in advance of the bridge's construction will include relocating an electric transmission line, railroad tracks and other utilities and construction of foundational supports for roadway ramps on the west end of the project.
The project team will also finalize detailed design and engineering plans for the bridge in conjunction with the Ohio Department of Transportation's project to replace and reconfigure the I-75 interchange, which is in design.
The new interchange is part of the Brent Spence Bridge Corridor project, which extends 2 mi. north of the Ohio River into Cincinnati along I-75 to the viaduct and 6 mi. to the south into northern Kentucky. The city and state are working together to coordinate both projects.
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