By Kristin Bednarski
Construction projects for the Eastern Corridor Program in the Eastgate area of Clermont County are underway with more following in the next several months.
The Eastern Corridor Program is made up of transportation improvement projects that will be completed between central Cincinnati and the communities to the east, including Clermont and Hamilton counties.
According to Laura Whitman, communications representative for the Eastern Corridor Program, there are four major projects for the Eastern Corridor, including State Route 32 relocation and improvement projects in the Eastgate area.
Whitman said there are also smaller projects in Clermont County that will be completed as part of the overall program.
Clermont County Engineer Patrick Manger said they are currently working on several projects that are part of the Eastern Corridor Program, with several others slated for the next few months.
Manger said some of the initial projects, which are part of the overall plan, are underway in Clermont County, including the Eastgate North Frontage Road Project.
He said they are widening and realigning a portion of the road, which will help position the road for upcoming projects.
“Eastgate Frontage Road is the first part to make room for and accommodate additional construction that will happen in the spring into summer,” Manger said.
Manger said the Ohio Department of Transportation recently awarded $600,000 for several Eastern Corridor projects including the Eastgate North Frontage Road Project as well as the Aicholtz Connector Project and the Ivy Pointe Boulevard Extension Project.
“We have a fair amount of construction going into 2013,” Manger said.
Manger said coming into the spring, they will begin construction to widen Eastgate Boulevard and raise and widen the Eastgate Boulevard bridge.
Manger said major construction will continue into 2014 and 2015.
He said in the summer of 2013 they will begin to completely re-vamp the State Route 32 and Interstate 275 interchange.
“Basically, the 32 and 275 interchange is going to get completely re-worked, as is the 32 and Eastgate Boulevard interchange,” Manger said.
Manger said after that, they will continue working on improving State Route 32 from Glen Este to Olive Branch-Stonelick Road.
He said about a year ago residents were able to look at different options for the interchange in that area and give their feedback.
“We are trying to finalize that at this time,” Manger said.
Manger said they are hoping to be able to come to the public fairly early in 2013 with a preferred alternative. He said from there they would begin working on final designs.
Manger said the Eastern Corridor projects will amount to nearly $80 million in construction taking place over the next few years.
He said the projects will help alleviate some of the traffic congestion already clogging the State Route 32 and other roads in the Eastgate and improve the situation for future development.
“A lot of times in transportation, we’re often in a reactive situation,” Manger said. “We are being reactive, but we’re also trying to be as proactive and set the stage for future scenarios instead of always trying to chase problems.”
Manger said they are cognizant of the fact that with project after project taking place, they are going to have to communicate well with residents to let them know what is going on and what is coming up.
“We are aware of the fact that we have a significant amount of construction in a fairly small window,” Manger said. “That is great news, serious infrastructure is being re-built, but it’s also going to be something that needs to be professionally handled and managed.”
The Ohio Department of Transportation, Clermont County Transportation Improvement District, and the Clermont County Engineer’s Office are working together to complete the projects.