Streetcar works hits turning point at Central Pkwy

Streetcar working turning onto Central on Thursday.
Streetcar working turning onto Central on Thursday.
Central Parkway closures from
Central Parkway closures from

CINCINNATI (FOX19) - Construction on the streetcar project is running on schedule, but work on the tracks has literally hit a turning point.

FOX19's Gordon Graham took a closer look at how work on the project will impact everyone who drives along Central Avenue this weekend.

Over the next couple of days construction crews will be working to turn the trench in the pavement, which rounds the busy intersection at Central Parkway and Race, into a smooth track bed.

The streetcar project Executive John Deatrick says the work is going to disrupt traffic.

"We've got a lot of work going on Central Parkway and the best thing to do is avoid the area," Deatrick told Gordon Graham.

Deatrick says working in a busy intersection makes the work that much harder.

"The major problem is just the Friday PM rush. We know technically what we have to do to build, but you know this is not a construction site inside a fence somewhere. We're right out here in the middle of the street and as you pointed out this is a critical choke point."

Several businesses around the area will be affected.  It's the job of Mike King, who works for the project's general contractor, MPD, to talk with the business owners.

"We have been around the block, talked to the businesses and schools … that are going to be affected by this specific closure and just made them aware and try to get the word out so they can take the necessary precautions."

The folks who work in the area seem to be taking it all in stride.

Tom Kent, Executive Director of 5 Elements Hip Hop says the streetcar is worth the temporary inconvenience.

"There's been a lot of disruption. We've learned to live with it. We know that good things are coming after it's all over," said Kent.

"It really hasn't been bad. We've been happy with how it's progressing and how it's moving forward and I think in the long run it's going to be a positive thing for us. We're excited about, you know, the stuff it's going to bring with it so we're looking forward to it," said Mallory Hall, who works for Bruce D. Robinson Design Group, a business along the Streetcar construction route.

The work is scheduled to be complete by 6 a.m. on Monday. In the meantime, there are plenty of detour signs along the affected route.

Visit the City of Cincinnati's web site for more information on the streetcar project.

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