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Dayton City Council Receives Updates on Various Projects

Dayton City Engineer Mike Yeager updated council on various projects happening throughout the city during its Tuesday night regular council meeting, including the Safe Routes to School project, persistent flooding at the corner of Kenton Street and Fourth Avenue and along Ervin Terrace, continued collaboration between the city and the United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), hillside slippage along the northern side of Seventh Avenue, the eastern expansion of the Riverfront Commons project, and a collaboration between Bellevue and Dayton on concrete maintenance projects. 

Yeager told council that the Safe Routes to School project, which was started after a grant was received from the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC) last April, is currently out for a re-bidding. Yeager explained that the city received only two bids and that they were both over budget. Furthermore, the lowest-bid contractor withdrew its offer. 

The project includes adding curb bump-outs on Sixth Avenue and adding, resurfacing, or maintaining sidewalks and multi-use paths in the city to make the walking route to school safer for pedestrians. The initiative will take place over several phases, the first one focusing on the walking path along Dayton Pike towards Chateau Ridge Drive and the next one expanding further towards Fort Thomas. 

Jaeger said that in light of only getting two bids, he is making more of an effort to get the word out about Dayton's needs on this project. He said that once a bid is received under-budget, a plan will be presented before council for approval, offering reassurance to council that the project is moving forward and that most of the work needed for the project includes concrete - which can be done in reasonable winter-weather. 

There is no finish-by date set for the project at this time. 

Dayton has pushed back a project from KYTC to resurface Fourth Avenue this month to put a 50/50 grant application before Sanitation District 1 (SD1) that aims to help mitigate flooding at the corner of Fourth and Kenton. The application will go towards upsizing and improving existing inlets that are near the corner, as well as install four more inlets at the low-points along the area. The inlets are expected to take two weeks once the project is started. 

KYTC will perform the resurfacing of Fourth in the spring after the SD1 project is completed.

Ervin Terrace is currently undergoing surveying which will produce a design to address its flooding issues. 

Yeager said he hopes to have both projects before SD1's board for approval during its meeting in December. 

Dayton is also currently working closely with the USACE on several projects throughout the city such as a toe-drain analysis along the levee, the next phase of the Manhattan Harbor development, and formulating an emergency action plan for residents in the event of a disaster. 

"Where there is earthen levee, there are drains at the bottom to divert water and the Army Corps of Engineers said those drains need to be inspected," Yeager explained. "In this case, there is not a good way to look at it, there are a lot of 90-degree bends." 

Dayton City Administrator Jay Fossett offered further explanation on the importance of those inspections.

"We had to do it because if we didn't, they would decertify the flood wall and our flood insurance would increase," Fossett said. 

Yeager resumed his presentation by applauding Fossett's work in keeping the USACE up-to-date on various projects throughout Dayton. 

"They're very happy with the amount of communication they are receiving now," he said, nodding to Fossett. 

Yeager then said that he was able to walk the city's Manhattan Harbor area with the USACE - which has not approved the second-phase of a project there - to get a better understanding of what needed to happen to progress. 

Lastly, he said that the USACE wants to see an emergency action plan for the citizens of Dayton in the case of a catastrophic flooding event, which he has begun work on. 

Yeager then moved on to the northern side of Seventh Avenue, which has been experiencing hillside slippage. He identified the first issue with remedying the slippage as utility poles that are on that side of the road, preventing the large equipment needed to stabilize the hill from being able to access it. Therefore, he has been working with Duke Energy to move those poles to the other side of the street to make progress on that project. 

Design projects that are currently being developed in Dayton include the eastern trail expansion of the Riverfront Commons project, and the Ervin Terrace sidewalk and drainage project. Yeager explained that Riverfront Commons will more than likely undergo a year of design, and another year of review and will include repaving trail sections along the top of the levee. 

Yeager then concluded his presentation to council by expressing his desire to enter into an annual concrete maintenance contract with the City of Bellevue, where he also serves as engineer. The contract will prevent the city from having to request bids on small maintenance-related concrete projects and will generally make concrete projects more timely and manageable. The agreement will not lock Dayton into using the chosen contractor for all of its concrete projects.

"It's just a really good situation for the city and Bellevue is interested as well," Yeager said. "We think there is a cost saving benefit by having Bellevue go into the contract."

A resolution allowing Dayton Mayor Ben Baker to seek bids with Bellevue for the annual concrete maintenance contract was unanimously passed by council at the end of the meeting. The contract is expected to proceed in the coming month.

-Connor Wall, associate editor