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Work to Begin on Covington's "Crown Jewel" Phase of Riverfront Commons

The City of Covington is calling the next phase of Riverfront Commons its "crown jewel".

Work begins on the new section at the north end of Greenup Street next Tuesday.

Crews from Prus Construction will begin mobilizing equipment and will fence off the parking lot underneath the Roebling Suspension Bridge and erect barriers to keep mud and debris from the construction site from washing into the Ohio River, Covington Public Works Director Rick Davis said.

Cars will no longer have access to the parking lot under the bridge.

"This is it, the highlight of Riverfront Commons, the 'crown jewel,' the most visually appealing piece of the 2.7-mile trail in Covington," said Davis, who has been working for years to obtain permits, funding, and finalized engineering plans for the project.

Davis is retiring at the end of August.

The project represents the $6.54 million Phase II of Covington's part of Riverfront Commons, the 2006 proposal from the regional agency Southbank Partners to link six river cities with an uninterrupted 11.5-mile path stretching from Fort Thomas to Ludlow.

Phase II - which stretches from Greenup to just west of the Madison Overlook - will include: 

  • A 1,350-seat amphitheater where crowds can watch musicians and others perform with the Cincinnati skyline as a backdrop.
  • Two concrete paths - totaling 2,800 feet -- used by walkers, bicyclists, and runners to travel either along the water's edge or along the floodwall murals. The paths will link up to a concrete path on the west side of RiverCenter.
  • A cobblestone "pier" jutting out into the river underneath the bridge where anglers can cast and paddlers can launch kayaks and canoes.
  • Upgraded overlooks at the foot of Madison Avenue and where an extended Scott Street would hit the river, where photographers and sight-seers can enjoy the river, boats, and the lights. 

Davis said the project could be finished in late fall 2020.

He said the closing of the parking lot under the bridge means that traffic on Greenup north of Second Street - so-called "turnaround traffic" - would be discouraged, although local traffic going to the Riverside Plaza and Riverside Terrace condos would still be allowed.

The initial stages of construction would likely focus on underground utility work and driving the "H" piles into the ground to stabilize the trail, he said.

-Staff report