Officials: Many construction workers to halt operations for Opening Day

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - Streetcar work is moving along throughout downtown, including right outside of Great American Ball Park.

That's not the only construction taking place around that area, though. Sidewalk work and reconstruction on Freedom Way are part of a project for The Banks.

With Opening Day just days away, some of that construction is far from over. But, officials say, come first pitch, it'll be like none of the equipment was ever there and none of the work ever even took place.

"Opening Day is too big. You've got to work around it," said Phil Beck, project executive for The Banks.

With this amount of work going on, working around Opening Day is not just an option, it's a must.

"Opening Day is a known date months in advance. You take that into consideration and you plan for it," said Beck.

The Banks project is now in its second phase.

As part of an ongoing sidewalk widening project, crews are now working on a piece along Second Street.  They're also working on a reconstruction of a portion of Freedom Way that is currently shutdown.

"That sidewalk will be complete and open for public use on Opening Day," said Beck, adding, "On Freedom Way, Freedom way will be fully open on Opening Day."

But, perhaps the most noticeable construction around town is the Cincinnati streetcar.

"Streetcar construction is happening in waves.  Right now, the track work wave is in Over-The-Rhine, but the utility work is downtown," said John Deatrick, streetcar project executive.

That utility work can be seen right outside of Great American Ball Park.  Because of water main work and utility work, travel over the bridge on Main Street is severely restricted, as well as other areas.

But, with thousands heading downtown next week to pack the stands, workers will pack up their operation for a few days.

"All the rubber-tire vehicles, all the materials, all the plates will be gone if the plate isn't covering a hole," said Deatrick.

It's all in a planned effort to make sure fans can get where they need to be for Monday's first pitch.

"We're trying to make the city better and better for people so they can have fun.  What would be the fun if you can't get there," Deatrick told FOX19.

Work on Freedom Way at The Banks will restart in mid-April, as sidewalk work along Second Street continues throughout the summer with the piece between Walnut Street and Main Street complete and open for Opening Day.

Work on the streetcar in that area is expected to resume by Wednesday or Thursday of next week once it's shutdown for Opening Day.

Streetcar work will also affect the route for the Opening Day parade.  Click here for details.

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