$100K project to fix Caroline underpass seepage

Even in dry periods, the seams of the Caroline Avenue underpass in Latonia leak water and mud onto the sidewalk on the southwest side.

COVINGTON, Ky. - Pedestrians who walk under the Caroline Avenue underpass in Latonia have a choice: Step out into the street for a quick detour, or tip-toe through puddles of gooey, dark greenish-colored mud. 

The stuff that is seeping out from seams in the retaining wall and covering the sidewalk on the southwest side of the underpass is slippery, unsightly, smells bad, and is causing problems for pedestrians.
Fortunately, it’s about to be fixed.
The Covington City Commission on Tuesday night approved a contract with Sunesis Construction of West Chester, Ohio, for $102,690 for what’s called a “water remediation project.”
Sunesis will drill vertical shafts about 30 inches in diameter behind the wall to collect rain, then connect those shafts under the sidewalk to the storm water drainage system, said Rick Davis, Covington’s Public Works Director.
“It’ll be a quick project, taking a couple of weeks at most, assuming good weather,” he said.
Davis said Public Works officials would be meeting with Sunesis soon to set up a construction schedule. He expected that one lane of the road would be kept open during the project.

The Caroline Avenue underpass doesn't look much different today than it did when it was dedicated in 1931. Photo is from the website

The Caroline underpass - which was built and dedicated back in 1931 - is infamous among Latonia drivers for another reason as well: In December 2013, one of the walls of the underpass started to collapse during a reconstruction of the street itself. A massive load of gravel was dumped to hold up the wall while engineers figured out how to fix it.
But this project is totally unrelated to that incident, Davis said. It’s on a different side of the underpass that - from a physical standpoint - is a wholly separate wall. In fact, the engineering behind the walls are different as well: The other one was built on a footer that kicked out, whereas this one is built on piers that reach deep into the ground, he said.
“This is more a ‘preventive maintenance’ project,” he said. “We need to rid the sidewalk of that seepage.”
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