Thursday, November 20, 2003

Mt. Washington streetscape nearly ready to be dedicated

By Jennifer Edwards
The Cincinnati Enquirer

MOUNT WASHINGTON - A $539,605 streetscape project along both sides of Beechmont Avenue from Corbly Street to Campus Lane is nearing completion, much to the delight of business owners and residents.

Most of the work on the west side of Beechmont should be done in time for a Nov. 29 dedication ceremony renaming an alley in the central business district Tom Roth Place. It honors a Mount Washington visionary who died at age 44 of a heart attack in 2001.

Roth was part of original plans for the beautification in 1996. So, it's only fitting the 6 p.m. dedication ceremony take place in conjunction with Mount Washington's annual Holiday Walk, said Mary Anne Berry, a resident since 1976 and a community activist.

"We lost a pretty wonderful person in our community," said Berry, 59. "We need to be reminded of him constantly and continue his legacy of giving."

The rest of the project should be complete by mid-January, depending on the weather, said Paul Umberg, a senior engineer for the city of Cincinnati.

The money for the project came out of the city's Community Development Department.

"It is going pretty fast and it's starting to come together over there. I haven't had any complaints about the construction, so I would say they are pretty on board with it," he said.

Crews of the R.A. Miller Construction Co. are installing concrete curbs, sidewalks and curb ramps with pavers, new street lighting with banners, sign poles, signs and bike rings.

Chuck Senior has operated Beechmont Barbers out of a storefront along Beechmont Avenue for 36 years. While he has seen a bit of a dip in business from the construction, he expects to get all his customers back - and then some - once the project is finished.

"I'm sure it's affected other businesses a lot worse than me. But, big picture, it would be better for all of us," Senior said. "We've got a couple new stores moving in, so I think it's helping."


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