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Improvements Planned for Latonia Streets, Caroline Underpass

Deteriorating roadways in Latonia will finally be addressed, the Covington City Commission voted Tuesday night.

Plans to improve and reconstruct Caroline Avenue between 34th & 36th Streets as well as Latonia and Southern Avenues received unanimous approval at City Hall.

The work on Caroline Avenue near the Caroline Underpass will cost $550,000 with 80% of that cost being reimbursed to the city from the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet, 10% to be paid for by the Sanitation District, and the other 10% coming from the city's share of federal community development block grant (CDBG) funds.

Latonia Avenue will be reconstructed from Madison Avenue to Southern Avenue, while Southern Avenue will be rebuilt between Latonia Avenue to Grace Street. That project's cost is $790,000 with 80% to be reimbursed to the city from the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet and the remaining costs to be funded from the city's share of CDBG funds.

The city expects work to begin this spring and is evidence of a stronger focus on improvement to Covington's aging and deteriorating infrastructure.

Latonia Avenue has deteriorated past the point that a typical mill and pave operation would provide any benefit. Curbs will be replaced, the water mains will be replaced, and improvements to the combined sewer system will be made as part of the project.  The alignment and the grade of the road will remain the same.

The Caroline Avenue project will be a full depth reconstruction of Caroline Avenue between 34th and 36th Streets including under the railroad. The grade on the 34th Street side of the tracks will change so that the low point of the road will move further north and the existing catch basins will be moved to this point. 

This will allow the combined sewer system main to be installed at a steeper grade than it is today and will correct the flooding problem that occurs during heavy rain events.  Moving the catch basins will also facilitate the installation of under drains beneath the pavement to collect the groundwater that constantly pumps up through and destroys the pavement. The roadway base and surface will also be replaced. The alignment of the road will remain unchanged.

City Assistant Engineer Mike Yeager anticipates both projects being advertised for construction this spring and to be completed by the end of fall. Both projects will be constructed in phases. The Caroline underpass will be closed to vehicular traffic except for emergency vehicles for thirty to sixty days. Traffic on the Latonia/Southern project will be maintained in one direction on some phases and both directions in other phases.  Detours will be set up for both projects to accommodate vehicular traffic.

The finished product will be a brand new road free of potholes, the city said in a news release.

Both Latonia Avenue and Caroline Avenue have been the source of major potholes in the past.  The existing potholes on the road have had many reparations, however, the fixes do not last very long because of the issues with the roadway base.  These issues will be resolved with this project.

Currently, Caroline Avenue sees approximately 3,600 vehicles per day and Latonia/Southern receives approximately 4,050 vehicles. Both thoroughfares are main trajectories for local traffic.

Currently the driving surfaces for both roads are about as bad as you can get in spots because of rutting and pot holes and have been the source of ire from neighbors for months.

City Manager Larry Klein applauded the staff at City Hall, particularly Assistant City Manager Larisa Sims and Yeager, for working to secure funding for the projects.

Photo: Map from Google of part of Latonia affected by project


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