New basin aims to protect Lewisburg

The new detention basin above the Lewisburg neighborhood.

Drainage project designed to hold back 3.5MM gallons of rain

COVINGTON, Ky. – From Montague Road, or “below,” the view of the officially named “Amsterdam Valley Regional Detention Basin” is of the downstream side of an earthen dam. 

But from above, on the “new” two-way Amsterdam Road, the view conjures up the image of a massive swale leading to a deep but unfilled moat.

In extremely heavy rain, that “moat” is designed to capture up to 3.5 million gallons of rainwater, fulfilling the engineering purpose of what its name suggests: Detain storm water so it doesn’t pour down off hillsides and down streets to flood homes in the Lewisburg neighborhood below.

The project is part of the $70 million home community called Park Pointe being built by Joshua One on 27.7 acres on the Covington-Park Hills border. It fulfills a drainage requirement by Covington leaders before they granted approval of the project in 2018.

Tuesday morning, officials from the two cities, Joshua One, and Sanitation District No. 1 of Northern Kentucky, which worked with the developer to design and build the basin, held an informal ceremony to mark the completion of the detention pond.

The model home at Park Pointe.

“We wanted to help solve some of the infrastructure and community issues as opposed to creating new ones,” said developer Paul Zeltwanger of Joshua One.

Mayor Joe Meyer praised the collaboration behind the public-private partnership and called the project a significant contribution to “long-awaited protection from storm flooding.”

“This will go a long, long way toward addressing the water problems in Lewisburg,” he said.

SD1 said the project will drain a 145-acre watershed and accomplish three things: reduce the likelihood of street flooding and basement drains backing up, reduced the likelihood of combined sewer overflows in the entire system, and eliminate the landslides that used to cover Montague in heavy rain.

Park Hills Mayor Kathy Zembrodt and SD1 Executive Director Adam Chaney also spoke at the ceremony.

To make land available for the detention pond, Covington agreed to close the lane of the split-in-two section of Amsterdam that used to carry northbound traffic to Montague. The lane carrying southbound traffic has been converted to two-way.

Zeltwanger said he hoped to have a “grand opening” for Park Pointe in the near future to celebrate the almost-completion of infrastructure like roads and sidewalks that contribute to the walkability of the development, which sits on the site of the former Hilltop Campus of Gateway Community & Technical College.

Plans call for 70 single-family homes ranging in size from 2,700 square feet to 4,500 square feet, he said, and costing from $600,000 to $1.5 million. The view of downtown Covington and the Cincinnati skyline is spectacular.

Several homes are already under contract, and a model home is framed and on its way to completion for touring, Zeltwanger said.

More about Park Pointe can be seen HERE.