Sunday, January 11, 2004

Landslide closes River Rd. in Fairfield

By Perry Schaible
Enquirer contributor

Butler and Warren counties are among 16 Ohio counties covered by Gov. Bob Taft's emergency declaration after last week's flooding.

Taft has declared a state of emergency in the counties. State emergency officials are determining the extent of damage. The assessments could help the counties qualify for state assistance programs, low-interest federal loans or other assistance.

The Great Miami, Ohio, Scioto, Muskingum and other rivers and many creeks flooded after heavy rains last weekend.>

FAIRFIELD - Some Fairfield-area motorists will have to use an alternate route for about six months.

River Road, between Gray Road and U.S. 27, will be closed for an estimated six months after a landslide washed out a portion of the river bank under the road along the Great Miami River at the Charles M. Bolton Water Treatment Plant.

Dave Bock, director of the Fairfield Public Works Department, said soil borings have been taken, but field work on the road cannot be started until the river recedes. Officials closed River Road on Monday, amid scattered flooding in the area after heavy weekend rainfall.

Traffic can access from the north by River Road to River Valley Court. To access the road from the south, motorists must use U.S. 27 to River Road up to Georgetown Road and Burns Road, according to the city of Fairfield's Web site.

Half a dozen employees work at the Bolton plant. Officials from the Greater Cincinnati Water Works said their employees can still access the plant by traveling north on Colerain Avenue, then east on River Road.

Ted and Madelyn Bruewer, both 75, go to the Mercy Center for Health and Wellness, on Mack Road, five times a week. The road closure will force the couple to drive out of their way.

"I'd say (it will add) another 15 minutes, at least, each way," Madelyn Bruewer said Friday.

For more information, call the Public Works Department at 867-4200.

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