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Covington Streetscape Project Slow, 501 Main Demolition Fast

The streetscape project to take place on Scott Boulevard and SixStreet in Covington hit another setback in City Hall Tuesday evening.

Updating the commission on the extent of the project, Mike Yeager, city engineer, informed the city commission that it would also have to approve moving forward on a separate project, Electric Alley, which runs between Scott Boulevard and Madison Avenue, and Fifth and Sixth Streets.

The Electric Alley project is designed to activate the outdoor space between buildings belonging to Gateway Community & Technical College.

Duke Energy said that utilities would have to be placed underground at Electric Alley before the company could move forward with placing the utilities underground along Scott.

The City of Covington received a hefty grant for the Electric Alley project.

“Electric Alley is a separate grant, that’s why it’s a separate line item in the budget, and now we’re rolling these two together,” Mayor Joseph Meyer said.

Yeager said that he didn’t see it as an issue because the city already has funding for completing Electric Alley and that projects would remain on separate budgets.

The cost of placing electrical lines would be around $250,000, which would primarily come from the grant, valued at $1 million. The city would pay a 20 percent match of $50,000 for the extra work.

“If we can’t do one without the other, I don’t know how we can’t approve it,” said Commissioner Michelle Williams.

The mayor and commission decided to pass the order over until they could receive more information on why the Electric Alley work must be completed before Scott.

If the work at Electric Alley is approved, the city will then be able to move forward with a grant from OKI to place utilities underground and replace sidewalks on Scott Street between 4th and 6th streets and a portion of 6th Street.

501 Main demolition moving faster than planned, parking impact imminent

Yeager also updated the city on the progress of the demolition at 501 Main Street, where River Haus, a large apartment project, is going, telling the commission that crews would like to close the lot behind the building as early as Monday to continue their work.

That means Mainstrasse Village parking will be impacted.

Yeager said that city is ready for this step with all signs having been placed for directional changes to 7th, 8th, and Philadelphia Streets and ABM, the city's parking management company, has acquired signs to lead visitors to the area during construction.

The lot will also lose an additional 20 to 30 parking spots during half of the 6-month construction timeline so that a stormwater well can be placed underground. Yeager said the current mitigation plan will more than make up those spots lost.

Written by Carrie Crotzer, RCN contributor
Photo: Sixth Street in Covington (RCN file)