Department of Highways, District 6
Long-awaited widening of 12th Street in Covington to begin
$34.1 million project will reduce congestion, preserve urban neighborhood
COVINGTON, Ky. (August 17, 2009) – The long-awaited widening of 12th Street/Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard in Covington will soon begin.
When construction is completed, 12th Street will have two 12-foot lanes in each direction from Interstate 75 to Scott Street, along with curb, gutter, sidewalks and, where space allows, a landscaped median.
To accommodate additional lanes, a new bridge will be built parallel to an existing bridge between Russell Street and Madison Avenue. To enhance aesthetics of the project, utilities will be located underground.
“We have been very diligent in our efforts to provide an efficient corridor and still preserve the historical nature of this older urban neighborhood,” said Rob Hans, chief district engineer for District 6 of the Department of Highways, Kentucky Transportation Cabinet. “We believe the new roadway will provide the traveling public with ease of mobility while keeping the character of the community and neighborhood intact.”
When 12th Street was platted in the 1880s, there was no connection to Campbell County and I-75 didn’t exist – much less the 18-wheelers that motor up and down the roadway today. In 1966, 12th Street was incorporated into the state highway system as KY 1120.
Discussion of needed improvements began in the 1980s with the anticipated reconstruction of the 12th Street ramps on I-75 and steadily increasing traffic. Six thousand vehicles per day in 1986 became 16,000 per day in 2004.
Funds for preliminary design were allocated in 1992. In addition, the Transportation Cabinet partnered with the city of Covington, Federal Highway Administration, Kentucky Heritage Council and local home owners to balance roadway improvement with historic preservation, including the relocation of two historic houses.
Sunesis Construction Co., of West Chester, Ohio, was awarded a contract for construction between I-75 and Russell Street on a low bid of $6.6 million. Prus Construction Co., of Cincinnati, was awarded a contract to construct the bridge and roadway between Russell Street and Scott Street on a bid of $8.2 million.
To date $3.7 million has been spent on design, $3.1 million on utility relocation and $9.8 million for right of way acquisition. Cost of construction is estimated at $14.8 million, bringing the total cost of the widening of 12th Street to $31.4 million.
This project will receive approximately $9.8 million in funding under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.
Contractors plan to begin work in late August. Utility work will be an extensive part of the project due to coordinating the many entities and relocating all of the utilities underground. Utility and construction work will be going on simultaneously. The plan is to first construct the new lanes on the southbound side of the project, then move to the existing road. Two lanes of traffic will be maintained throughout the construction project.
Completion is expected in November 2012.