Thursday, October 2, 2003

Project to cut off businesses


Sewer work will restrict traffic to Madeira's shopping district

By Sheila McLaughlin
The Cincinnati Enquirer

MADEIRA - A $3.4 million sanitary sewer project that starts construction in mid-October will put a squeeze on access to the heart of the city for 10 months.

Residents say they might go elsewhere to shop, and business owners along Miami and Railroad avenues are anticipating a temporary drop in customer traffic.

At the same time, city officials are warning rush-hour motorists from other communities who use Madeira as a cut-through to the interstate to stay out - unless they are coming to shop.

"We want to encourage people who use our business district to continue to do so," City Manager Tom Moeller said. "But, we are trying to lessen the impact by encouraging people using Madeira as a cut -through to stay out."

He said traffic will be maintained, but limited in an area that sees about 18,000 cars a day.

"I guess I'll go to another Kroger. I don't know," said long-time resident Sue Sutton.

Jean Sponsler, second vice president of the Madeira Woman's Club, said the lengthy construction is bound to chase customers away from the club's Clothes Closet. The used clothing boutique at Miami and Railroad avenues raises money for community-wide projects.

"Some of the people bringing things in are a little older. There's no parking in front. We need to have access to our back parking lot. We think it is really going to deter sales," Sponsler said.

Construction starts with a short segment at Dawson Road and Miami Avenue around Oct. 13 and will jog up Railroad Avenue and east on Laurel Avenue, Moeller said.

Sewer line replacement then begins on Miami Avenue at Railroad after the first of the year, and will turn west on Euclid Avenue for less than a block. Weather permitting, the project should be finished next August, Moeller said.

The sewer line replacement is part of a court order requiring Hamilton County to eliminate sanitary sewer overflows into storm sewers and creeks. It also is meant to increase capacity of the sanitary sewer system to stop flooding during severe rains, Moeller said.

Mike Wessel, co-owner of Choo Choo's Restaurant on Railroad Avenue, is trying to look at the bright side, even though his customers might have to search harder for parking spaces when they drop in for a sandwich and a beer.

"Frankly, we really don't know how it will affect us," Wessel said. "From what I gather, it needs to be done. It really floods bad from the gas station back to here - a half foot of water at least."

He's eager to have the project finished because it will signal a new beginning for Choo Choo's. He plans to expand and spruce up his outdoor seating area, but can't start on it until the road is repaved.

"Road construction is never good until it's finished," he said. "But, we're kind of excited about it because of next year what it will bring."

E-mail smclaughlin@enquirer.com




TOP STORIES
Abuse suit now a class action
Zimpher gets busy on Day 1
Student sampling on new boss sketchy
Crime on rise in suburbs
Young voters missing at polls

IN THE TRISTATE
Character sign: helping a friend
Project to cut off businesses
19 from Greater Cincinnati are Achievement semifinalists
Cancer team seeks funding
Reeve tells of hope for cures
Cranley seeks I-71 exit near hospitals
Monitor says police reform is slow
MSD to pay to fix sewer backups
Regional Report

ENQUIRER COLUMNISTS
Pulfer: A new history of women begins on the west side
Howard: Good Things Happening

BUTLER, WARREN, CLERMONT
Jury decides on death penalty for man who killed his wife
Hamilton readies for assault of this winter
Deters advises Butler Co.
Miami U. to keep all benefits for striking workers
Visit Scotland with a trip to Middletown
Mason's pancake day will be Nov. 8
Condos argued in Price Hill
Student killed; school shocked

OBITUARIES
Stanley Kreimer active in politics
Henry Stark, 104, was in union for 87 years
Kentucky obituaries

OHIO
Irate farmer wants crop circle culprits to pay
Two firefighters killed in New Knoxville
No charges to be filed in landlord voyeurism case
Lawmaker proposes overhaul of state retirement fund boards
There's plenty of Ohio in D.C.
Ohio Moments

KENTUCKY
Universities, public schools start mutual campaign for money
Ky. state senator says: 'I'm gay'
Poll finds majority would allow smoking in bars
Survey: Gamblers ramble in region
Talks to regulate tobacco industry break down along partisan lines
Holmes teacher's death serves as warning for all
Museum Center shows Lewis and Clark letters
West Nile death confirmed
Truck driver dies after going off I-71