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Cincinnati is pondering the end of the Western Hills Viaduct. Here's why it's so significant

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Tana Weingartner
/
WVXU

Builders completed the Western Hills Viaduct in 1932, but some would suggest the gateway to the West Side doesn't look a day under 300. Others say that while it's old, the bridge is an important part of the city's history and aesthetic identity.

Despite a little crumbling concrete, the bridge remains safe to drive on, though engineers say it will be at the end of its useful life soon. So the city of Cincinnati and Hamilton County have been gearing up to replace the gargantuan half-mile span — a $398 million task that will take years to complete. Crews broke ground on the very first phases of that project recently.

What will that new bridge look like and how will it improve mobility in Cincinnati? And shouldn't we be a little sad that our current Viaduct — in all its aging Art Deco glory — is going away?

Joining Cincinnati Edition to talk about the Western Hills Viaduct's historic significance, the design of its coming replacement and the engineering challenges ahead are City of Cincinnati Principal Structural Engineer Bill Shefcik; TYLin Bridge Sector Leader Sajid Abbas — the city's design consultant for the replacement bridge — and Cincinnati historian Greg Hand.

Listen to Cincinnati Edition live at noon M-F. Audio for this segment will be uploaded after 4 p.m. ET.

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