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Work Progressing Slowly On West Side Road Replacement

Hamilton County Engineer
Rushing floodwaters washed away the culvert and the road between South and Cleves-Warsaw Pike.

There's good news and bad news for drivers in western Hamilton County. A closed road will reopen, but probably not for a while.

The hope was to have Van Blaricum Road reopened before 2018 ended. "At this point in time, it doesn't look like that's going to happen," says Ted Hubbard. The Hamilton County engineer says what forced the closure in the first place is still proving to be problematic: too much water.

Van Blaricum was closed between Cleves Warsaw and South Road after flood waters from a storm washed out the culvert and the road on Easter Sunday 2017.

"The contractor has been hampered by significant amount of rain this fall. They're building the bridge and they're building retaining walls in the stream, it's been extremely difficult for them to progress as fast as we originally thought they would," Hubbard says.

The washout was 25-feet deep.

Credit Provided / Hamilton County Engineer
Hamilton County Engineer
The road has been closed since April 16, 2017.

"It's a complex project and it's a large project as far as washouts and slides go," Hubbard says. "It was so great we had to get additional right-of-ways. We have plenty of room to do the work. Once this project is done we should not have any more problems at all on Van Blaricum Road."

He adds that at that specific site, Hamilton County is very landslide prone. "We're tracking over 50 landslides across the county now."

Hubbard knows the closure has inconvenienced a lot of people who live in the area. "In that part of the county, there's not a lot of redundancy in the road system. We were going to replace a culvert on Shady Lane, but we postponed that a year because of the fact Van Blaricum was closed."

The contractor bid the work at $1,523,000, and Hubbard is hopeful they'll come in under budget. The final cost could change if the road is paved with concrete instead of asphalt. Asphalt is cheaper, but it's out of season. Hubbard says part of the project is paid for with a $420,000 emergency grant from the Ohio Public Works Commission.

Rinehart has been a radio reporter since 1994 with positions in markets like Omaha and Lincoln, Nebraska; Sioux City, Iowa; Dayton, Ohio; and most recently as senior correspondent and anchor for Cincinnati’s WLW-AM.