Mariemont on endangered places list

Mariemont Theater
Mariemont Theater

MARIEMONT, OH (FOX19) - Founded in the 1920's, Mariemont is a historical part of Hamilton County with a hometown charm. Residents now fear that charm will disappear if the state gets their way.

The Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) is planning to relocate State Route 32 near South 80 Trail so it connects to Red Bank Road.

It's a project that residents say will scar the village.

"A new highway in the valley will destroy our view of the concourse, and the noise pollution near these beautiful houses and neighborhoods would be completely destroyed," said Mayor Dan Policastro.

The National Trust for Historical Preservation has named Mariemont as among the nation's 11 most endangered historic places.

Mayor Policastro says, "We are grateful the national trust took the time to understand our issues and they agree."

It's a move village leaders and preservationists hope will protect their land.

In our commitment to balanced news, we spoke with ODOT Public Information Officer Sharon Smigielski, who says they "acknowledge and respect Mariemont's concerns," and are listening to the complaints.

"We are required by NEPA to examine these resources and avoid and mitigate anything that would impact these resources," she tells FOX19.

Smigielski says the connector would not impact the village, but rather help with traffic.

"It may not go through Mariemont, but if we chose the area they're concerned about, it would not impact their business or residence."

ODOT officials say they are still in planning phases. They hope to have an alternative plan selected by 2014, as well as considering not building at all.

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