A more inviting ‘front door’

Friday event seeks ideas on Clay Wade Bailey gateway

COVINGTON, Ky. – Every welcoming home maintains an inviting entry point … an attractive “front door,” so to speak, that beckons visitors to cross its threshold.

“Welcoming” cities are not any different.

That’s why the City of Covington is starting a public conversation about how to improve one of its primary “front doors” to make it more inviting.

On Friday, the City is holding a drop-by event to discuss what it’s calling the Clay Wade Bailey Bridge Gateway into Covington, the bridge being one of the primary routes into the city from Cincinnati to the north.

Covington’s Economic Development team – along with members from the Public Works and Neighborhood Services departments – is inviting residents, business owners, patrons, and neighborhood groups to join them at MainStrasse Village’s Goose Girl Fountain for a conversation about ways to make that entry point more attractive.

“Some people think of gateways as being defined simply by a sign or landscaping,” said Susan Smith, business attraction manager with Economic Development. “We want to think broader than that and explore creating something more sophisticated, for two reasons: One, we want to find a way to complement the surrounding area from an aesthetics and thematic standpoint. And two, we want to create something the elicits a mood or ‘feel’ that invites people to come live here, work here, invest here, or visit.”

Smith said people are encouraged to come share ideas and input about potential improvements. While there will be no official presentation, the community engagement will feature poster boards with photos showing how the Gateway entry currently looks and showing various conceptual ideas of how it could look.

“People can select their top three preferences and submit their own ideas as well,” Smith said, emphasizing that the effort is in “very early stages.”

“These projects have a lot of moving pieces and various entities and thus take time to see results,” she said, adding that as the City is being “reinvigorated,” so too will some of its gateways.

“They’re often the first ‘face’ of a city after all,” Smith said. “The quality of a place is part of the equation to attract businesses, talent, residents, and visitors.”

About the event:

  • What: Community Engagement Event for the Clay Wade Bailey Bridge Gateway into Covington.
  • When: 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Friday, Oct. 29.
  • Where: Goose Girl Fountain at 6th and Main streets in MainStrasse Village.
  • Added attraction: Halloween candy.
  • Rain date: In case of a downpour and/or lightning, the event will move to Nov. 10, same time and place. Watch the City’s Facebook page, @covingtonkygov
  • Questions?: Contact Susan Smith at

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