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Caroline Underpass Water Remediation Project to Improve Pedestrian Experience

The City of Covington is moving forward on plans to repair the Caroline Underpass, an important piece of infrastructure for drivers and pedestrians in Latonia, particularly when a train is passing through town and closes Decoursey Avenue.
The city commission voted recently to hire West Chester, Oh.-based Sunesis Construction to the tune of $102,690 to work on a water remediation project.
Currently, pedestrians at the underpass, which crosses over Caroline Avenue, are often met with slippery and smelly goo on the sidewalks.
Sunesis will drill vertical shafts about 30 inches in diameter behind the wall to collect rain, then connect those shafts under the sidewalk to the storm water drainage system, said Rick Davis, Covington Public Works director.
"It'll be a quick project, taking a couple of weeks at most, assuming good weather," he said.
Davis said Public Works officials would be meeting with Sunesis soon to set up a construction schedule. He expected that one lane of the road would be kept open during the project.
The Caroline underpass - which was built and dedicated in 1931 - is infamous among Latonia drivers for another reason as well: In December 2013, one of the walls of the underpass started to collapse during a reconstruction of the street itself. A massive load of gravel was dumped to hold up the wall while engineers figured out how to fix it.
But this project is totally unrelated to that incident, Davis said. It's on a different side of the underpass that - from a physical standpoint - is a wholly separate wall. In fact, the engineering behind the walls are different as well: The other one was built on a footer that kicked out, whereas this one is built on piers that reach deep into the ground, he said.
"This is more a 'preventive maintenance' project," he said. "We need to rid the sidewalk of that seepage."

-Staff report

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