The Waldvogel Viaduct was constructed in 1940, and was elevated in such a stance to provide no at-grade crossings with any railroad due to the completion of the Cincinnati Union Terminal in 1933, and to connect with Warsaw and Elberon Avenues. The crossing was painted silver with a single 5-mil coast over a wire-brushed surface.(10)
In 1954, the viaduct was named the Waldvogel Memorial Viaduct after Edward N. Waldvogel (1894-1954), a member of the Ohio Senate and Mayor of Cincinnati who had died in office.
In 1993, due to structural deterioration, the weight limit of the viaduct was reduced to 16 tons, or 40% of the legal load limit.(7) Structural repairs were performed at several hinge locations in 2001 to prevent a further down posting of the bridge, and additional repairs were completed in 2006. A 2007 city inspection report labeled the viaduct in poor condition, with a rating of 4 out of 10.(7)
From 1996 to 2011, the city completed $2.5 million in structural repairs to the bridge.(11) As of August 2011, the crossing carried 51,000 vehicles per day (9) and was rated 2 out of 100 on a state inspection report.(11)
In February 2003, the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) held a value engineering meeting for the viaduct replacement project.(8) On December 15, 2003, the city submitted an application to ODOT requesting $24 million for fiscal year 2007 for the viaduct replacement. On March 25, 2004, the city received a response noting that due to uncertainties surrounding the viaduct replacement project and that fiscal year 2009 would be a more appropriate funding request time, that the city should reapply then. As of 2004, the estimated cost of replacement was pegged at $40 million, and the city had received a commitment of $4.8 million from the Ohio-Kentucky-indiana Regional Council of Governments (OKI).
In July 2005, $16.5 million of federal funding was approved for the Waldvogel Viaduct reconstruction project.(2) Construction was slated to begin in 2008 and be complete by 2012.(2)(5) The two-year project proposed removing the Waldvogel Viaduct, constructing five bridges, relocating railroad tracks and constructing an at-grade River Road. A clear zone is included for the future Ohio River Bike Trail.
In July 2009,(6) the Cincinnati City Council passed unanimously an ordinance that announced its intent to cooperate with ODOT on the railroad track relocation project – the viaduct replacement’s first phase.(5) The ordnance was necessary to secure $5 million in federal stimulus and Surface Transportation Program (STP) funds via OKI. The remaining local share, $977,000, was funded through an existing City Department of Transportation and Engineering (DOTE) capital improvement program project account.
The first phase, involving the relocation of railroad tracks about 100 feet south and the demolition of a disused Amtrak station and estimated to cost $6 million, began construction in the spring of 2010.(3)
In June, the City Council approved of an ordinance to enter an agreement with Hamilton County for $500,000 in county Municipal Road Fund program funding.(3)(4) The city had secured $59.2 million in city, state and federal funding for the project. On July 3, the City Council passed a resolution to appropriate 16 parcels of land for the $68 million Waldvogel Viaduct replacement.(3) The ODOT had requested that the five acres of right-of-way be cleared by August 20.
Construction began in August 2011 on the second phase of the Waldvogel Viaduct replacement project.(1) The construction contract was awarded to Great Lakes Construction Company. The second phase includes the demolition of a few conflicting buildings on Neave Street, the renovation of a retaining wall at Wilder and Glenway Avenue, and the construction of a temporary road at River Road and State Avenue.(1) Also included is the widening of River Road from 36 feet to 52 feet with left turn lanes from Mt. Echo Road to Illinois Avenue.(9)
Construction is scheduled to conclude by October 31, 2014.(1)
- From Parsons Brinckerhoff of the preferred alternative:
- Backscheider, Kurt. “Waldvogel Viaduct work starts in early August.” Cincinnati Enquirer 28 July 2011: n. pag. Web. 22 Dec. 2011. Article.
- Sickmiller, Mark, writ. Work On L. Price Hill Viaduct Closer. 9News: WCPO, Cincinnati, 07 July 2005. TV. Article.
- Lemaster, Kevin. “Waldvogel appropriations official.” Building Cincinnati 8 July 2010: n. pag. Web. 23 Dec. 2011. Article.
- Lemaster, Kevin. “Cincinnati taking action on roadway improvements.” Building Cincinnati 23 June 2010: n. pag. Web. 23 Dec. 2011. Article.
- Lemaster, Kevin. “River Road, Dana Avenue projects advance.” Building Cincinnati 3 Nov. 2009: n. pag. Web. 23 Dec. 2011. Article.
- Lemaster, Kevin. “Cincinnati makes decisions on Waldvogel, Hamilton.” Building Cincinnati 2 July 2009: n. pag. Web. 23 Dec. 2011. Article.
- “Major Bridge Projects (Current & Planned).” City of Cincinnati. 2007. Web. 23 Dec. 2011. Article.
- Lemmie, Valerie A. “Waldvogel Viaduct (HAM-50-18.79) Replacement Project Update.” Memo to Mark Mallory. 6 July 2004. TS. City of Cincinnati.
- Deatrick, John F. “US 50 Waldvogel Interchange.” Memo to Mark Mallory. 25 Apr. 2011. TS. City of Cincinnati.
- Hare, Clive H. Painting of steel bridges and other structures. N.p.: Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1990.Print.
- Quan Truong. “Sixth Street Viaduct in dire need of overhaul :LOWER PRICE HILL – Brenda Raines pointed at a crack in her windshield.” Cincinnati Enquirer 6 May 2011. Web. 23 Dec. 2011.