Thursday, June 24, 2004

Turkeyfoot Road project appears on solid footing


$28M revamp: Portion could open next summer

By William Croyle
Enquirer contributor

ERLANGER - The $28 million Turkeyfoot Road project is on schedule to be finished in 2007, but a portion of the new five-lane highway could be opened to motorists as early as next summer.

Once known for its dangerous dips, curves and accidents, the two-lane road is being turned into a flatter, straighter, safer drive from Edgewood to Independence.

The project includes widening a four-mile segment from Dudley Road in Edgewood to Bristow Road in Independence to five lanes - two northbound, two southbound and a center turn lane - with sidewalks on both sides.

The first of three phases started two years ago in Erlanger in the middle of the four-mile stretch, from Brightleaf Boulevard to Lindenwood Drive. Brightleaf was built to replace the winding, hazardous Narrows Road off Turkeyfoot while the steep hill on Turkeyfoot at the Narrows Road intersection was eliminated.

"Before that was done, we could sit a police cruiser at that intersection when it rained and just wait for an accident to happen," said Erlanger Mayor Marc Otto.

Otto said the residential growth near Brightleaf in the last few years also made the reconstruction necessary.

According to the state highway department, 15,200 cars a day drove on Turkeyfoot Road through Erlanger in 2000. Last year, that number jumped to 17,000. This year's projected daily average is 17,600.

Phase two is north of phase one and runs from Lindenwood Drive up to Dudley Road. It started last year and should be done by the end of summer 2005.

"At that point we'll open five lanes, probably from Dudley through Brightleaf," said Larry Trenkamp, branch manager of construction for the state highway department.

Phase three is scheduled to start next spring. It's at the southern end of Turkeyfoot and runs from Brightleaf to Bristow Road. That phase of the project will cost $10 million, which includes the purchase of 64 parcels of land, including 15 homes.

When the three phases are complete, the state will conduct studies on where to put traffic lights.

"Wherever existing lights are, they will remain," said Trenkamp. "We'll wait until the road is utilized for a while and then do traffic counts before deciding what more to put in there."

Other features of the Turkeyfoot Road project

• A redesign of the intersection of Turkeyfoot, Richardson, Independence Station, Hunters Green and Bristow roads to a square, four-way intersection.

• Richardson Road will be redesigned so it intersects with Turkeyfoot Road at St. Barbara Church.

• Lily Drive will be closed at Turkeyfoot and turned into a cul-de-sac at that end. The other end of Lily will be opened to Richardson Road.

• A new Autumn Road about 500 feet north of Brightleaf is being built to replace the temporary Autumn Road used today. The new road will allow access to Turkeyfoot Acres subdivision.

• Stevenson Road will be connected with Meadowlark Lane.

E-mail williamcroyle@yahoo.com




ENQUIRER COLUMNS
Bronson: Yates here, there and everywhere
Barbershop gets a touch of blues

TOP LOCAL HEADLINES
Victims upset at Bush's praise of ex-con
Bush's Talbert House remarks
Bill would help ex-inmates' return
Marine Reservists receive a second set of goodbyes
Cincinnati leads nation in population decline
'Growth' and 'Mason' virtually synonymous
Priest pleads in abuse
Growing LDS churches stress high involvement
Jury finds 14-year-old guilty
Complaints pile up against Fox, latest alleges illegal committee
Arbitrator trumped; firing might stand
Pair admit selling stolen goods on eBay
Public safety digest
Local news briefs

KENTUCKY HEADLINES
Peoples Bankers led lives of luxury
Drowning victim found
Senate candidates split hairs over funds
Turkeyfoot Road project appears on solid footing
Police arrest suspects in drug roundup in Shelby County
Fletcher changing titles of political appointees

EDUCATION HEADLINES
School transfers may multiply
Cincinnati school board struggles with projections
TV forums held on levy requests

NEIGHBORS
Would-be Warren builder sues over no-growth block
Old Chilo lock gets new life
Two suburbs consider more taxes or cutbacks
Lebanon tax increase may be on November ballot
Subdivision pool back in business
Symmes trustees erupt in anger over park levy
Fire master plan consultant sought

LIVES REMEMBERED
Robert 'Sonny' Hill Jr. doted on Middletown
Lillian Smiley, 75, 'meant the world' to her neighbors