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Licking Greenway Reopens in Covington After Levee Repair

The situation was so dangerous last year that the City of Covington had an emergency evacuation plan in place.

A "significant" flood would have been a serious dangerous to the Wallace Woods and Austinburg neighborhoods along the Licking River if the levee at 21st Street would continue to slide. After the city received an "unacceptable" inspection rating from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers last October, city officials planned to spend between $1 and $2 million to repair it.

On a crisp Monday afternoon, city leaders and workers behind the repair project gathered to celebrate a job well done - and the reopening of the paved portion of the Licking Greenway & Trail that runs along top the levee. 

Mayor Sherry Carran said that she was pleased with the work - which was performed by Great Lakes Construction Company. She also noted the important role that the trail has played in the community and that when she was knocking on doors during her recent reelection campaign, some neighbors told her that they purchased homes in the neighborhoods because of the proximity to the trail.

And there is more to come.

"We have the money secured to finish the paved section to 8th Street," said Rosie Santos, a recreation specialist at the City of Covington. There is currently a mile of paved trail and an additional two miles of paved trail will be put out to bid in the winter. Ultimately, the Licking River Greenway & Trails project aims to run through Covington, Latonia, and Taylor Mill in Kenton County and Wilder and Newport in Campbell County. The system would also connect to other nearby trail systems like Riverfront Commons, which will run east to west along the Ohio River from Ludlow in the west to Fort Thomas in the east.

There will be access for the disabled placed at parks in Austinburg and the Eastside.

As for the work, Brandon Travin of Great Lakes said it went well - despite its massive scale. Eleven different drains were installed to keep water flowing back to the Licking instead of into the neighborhoods. He told The River City News that nothing too exciting was found at the site while digging was underway - mostly glass and an old poker chip.

-Michael Monks, editor & publisher

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