Sunday, November 16, 2003

Subway tunnel to undergo repair

By Rebecca Goodman
The Cincinnati Enquirer

OVER-THE-RHINE - Maintenance work begins Monday on the subway tunnel under Central Parkway. Lane closures and parking restrictions are possible between Walnut and Draper streets through Feb. 1.

An annual inspection of the tunnel raised questions about the safety of rusted frames and grates of the ventilation shafts, said Joe Walter, city transportation engineer.

There are 37 shafts going down about 15 feet next to the tunnel. Each is framed and covered by a grate installed between 1920 and 1927, when the subway was built.

"These were the initial construction grates," said Joe Prus, president of Prus Construction Co., which is doing the $380,000 job. "They haven't deteriorated. (But) they really weren't of structural quality to take traffic."

Prus said they are a hazard to any car that might veer off the road.

Twenty-nine of the grates will be repaired. "We're taking part of the (concrete) walls off and replacing those grates with something of a higher standard," Prus said.

"These shafts are really just pits about three feet wide by 15 feet in length. We're taking the top three or four feet off. We're kind of retro-fitting those walls to fit the new grates."

City engineer Steve Gressel drew up the design for the repairs. The remaining eight shafts will be filled and sealed.

Crews also will replace the concrete walk under the Brighton approach bridge and the steel door at the north entrance of the transit tubes near Draper Street.

Lanes may be closed in a 40-foot area for up to one week at a time. If lanes are closed, traffic will be routed around the construction. There also may be temporary parking restrictions.



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