Long-time Hamilton homeowners fear displacement due to overpass project
The impending North Hamilton Crossing project is needed to relieve congestion on the city’s existing streets, officials say.
CINCINNATI (WXIX) - Dozens of Hamilton residents are upset about a proposed road construction project that could rob them of their homes.
Those residents, from Hamilton’s North End neighborhood, voiced outrage ahead of Wednesday night’s Hamilton City Council meeting.
Alicia Bowman is one of those speaking out.
“It’s a lot to take in,” she said Wednesday afternoon. “We want to save our park, our greenspace and our neighborhood.”
The North Hamilton Crossing project would span the city from east to west through the North End, expanding lanes of traffic and adding a bridge and a railroad overpass.
Hamilton Assistant Director of Engineering Allen Messer says the project is meant as an “alternative” to High Street. He describes it as a “boulevard-type street” with five lanes and a 35mph speed limit. Messer says the bypass would divert about half of High Street’s current throughput.
The project is estimated to cost around $100 million. It could also cost dozens of families living on fixed incomes in the North End their homes.
Amy Giacci is a North End resident of four decades. “This area means so much to me personally,” she said. “It’s especially sad, because we went through so much to get the house.”
Randall Chitwood is similarly concerned.
“I don’t think it’s right,” Chitwood said.
Messer says moving the residents is necessary for the street, which in turn is necessary to ensure safe and expedient travel through the area with an expected population surge on the horizon due to several developments underway.
He also says the project project is in its feasibility stage, meaning nothing is yet set in stone.
“We currently don’t have any overpasses north of High Street, and on the north side of town, there’s a huge need for it,” he said. “We’re encouraging people to speak their opinion[...] and we’re taking that input into consideration as we work toward the final design.”
City leaders will be hosting a public input meeting on Jan. 23 and a virtual public hearing for 45 days to ensure all viewpoints are heard.
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