By Travis Gettys
The Cincinnati Enquirer
NEWPORT - Traveling the busy stretch of 10th Street between Interstate 471 and Monroe street presents a challenge to drivers, who must contend with construction clutter and frequent lane closings.
But it's still open, at least for now.
An 800-foot section of 10th Street, from Vine Street to Monroe Avenue, is scheduled to close during the third week of March.
Officials planned to close the stretch last month, but work crews continue to relocate gas and water lines, said Sam Beverage, chief district engineer for the transportation cabinet.
The road will remain closed for six months while workers complete a long-planned $3.9 million project to modernize a railroad overpass, Beverage said.
The bridge will be elevated by three feet and widened to accommodate larger trains underneath, he said. Plans call for turn lanes to Park Avenue and aesthetic upgrades.
Some improvements are already visible, said Anis Pretot, owner of The Monroe, a hair and bridal salon.
Across the street from her business, she said, a new retaining wall has been embossed to match historic brick used for many area buildings.
"When it's done, it's going to be very nice," she said. But she added that the street closing will hurt nearby businesses.
Pretot said she expects her business to drop by 25 percent.
About 12,000 vehicles daily travel the eastern section of 10th Street, according to a study by the state.
Detours will be posted, and traffic will be diverted onto Grand Avenue and Carothers Road, said Nancy Wood, public information officer for the transportation cabinet.
Linda Rogers of Fort Thomas said she plans to take one of those alternate routes to her job in Newport and to her mother's home, which is on Park Avenue.
"It's going to add more driving time for me, personally," Rogers said.
Emergency services will also take roundabout paths to some areas, said City Manager Phil Ciafardini.
Rogers worried that her mother's neighborhood could be at risk.
"I know several elderly people who live around there," she said. "What's going to happen if my mom gets sick and needs a life squad?"
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