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Red Bank community group & ODOT partnership sets standard for incorporating public feedback into project development process
CINCINNATI (Sept. 17, 2013) – The Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) has scheduled a public involvement meeting to get input on transportation improvement alternatives being considered for the Red Bank Corridor project. The meeting will be held on Tuesday, October 1, 2013, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Madisonville Recreation Center, 5320 Stewart Road. The Red Bank Corridor project is one of four core projects of the Eastern Corridor Program.
“The Red Bank corridor is an important area in our region,” said Keith Smith, Environmental Engineer for ODOT and project manager for the Red Bank Corridor improvements. “Employers such as Fifth Third Bank and Coca-Cola to name a few, hundreds of school children, dozens of retail locations, and historic neighborhoods with generations of history consider the Red Bank corridor home.”
“We know that the current infrastructure in the area does not adequately support the needs of the people who live, work and travel through this area,” continued Smith. “Together with the Red Bank community, we are working on developing and implementing several phases of transportation improvements that will ease congestion, improve safety, improve access to business and shopping, and create more bicycle and pedestrian-friendly roadways. The Public Involvement Meeting on October 1 will be another opportunity for us to interact with the community and receive their feedback on the alternatives that are under consideration.”
Smith noted that ODOT and the Eastern Corridor Partners have worked very closely throughout the project development process with a group known as the Red Bank Community Partner Committee (CPC). CPC members represent communities located in the vicinity of the Red Bank corridor, as well as nearby businesses, schools and other stakeholders interested in working cooperatively to improve their community.
“It hasn’t always been a walk in the park,” said Red Bank CPC member and Madisonville Community Council President Bob Igoe, “but we have been a part of the ODOT process every step of the way and we appreciate the effort that’s been made to develop the options we now have before us. I’m looking forward to the meeting on October 1 and hearing what the broader public thinks about the proposed improvements for our area.”
ODOT has worked closely with Red Bank CPC members over the past 24 months to explore a wide variety of concepts, including the phased schedule of improvements that the public will have the opportunity to review at the Public Involvement Meeting. Proposed plans include:
  • Reconstructing “Old” Red Bank Road
  • Establishing a connection at Hetzel Street and Babson Place
  • Making local network improvements at Brotherton Road, Erie Avenue and Murray Road
  • Investigating a new roadway connection between Duck Creek Road and Medpace Way
  • Developing a bike/pedestrian pathway plan for the community
Project planners noted that while these alternatives address the short-term needs and preferences of the local community, a long-term solution for addressing capacity on Red Bank Expressway will eventually have to be considered.
“Red Bank and Madison is one of the most complicated intersections in our City,” said Michael Moore, Director of the Department of Transportation and Engineering for the City of Cincinnati, who has worked closely with ODOT to develop improvements for the area. “We have to balance the safety needs of children who have to cross these streets getting to and from school every day with the transportation needs of major employers who operate commercial vehicles through this area.”
“The solutions outlined will gradually and successfully address the transportation, access and safety issues of this area,” continued Moore, echoing the objectives set forth by the Partner team. “I look forward to the public’s feedback on this plan.”
Hamilton County Commissioner Todd Portune, who has long been a champion of using transportation improvements to stimulate economic development, create jobs and create community enhancement opportunities, also applauded the collaborative process that has led to the current set of proposed solutions saying, “The good news coming out of Madisonville is testament to the commitment made by ODOT, the Eastern Corridor Partners and community representatives to work together in good faith toward best practice solutions. I’m excited about acting on a preferred alternative for the Red Bank Corridor project and continuing the positive work of the Eastern Corridor Program,” he said.
ODOT will use feedback gained from the public meeting to identify preferred alternatives and will then perform the associated environmental studies and documentation, as required by the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969. At that time, the team will pursue funding for construction. Construction will be completed in accordance with the project’s phasing plan and other Eastern Corridor Program improvements.
The Red Bank Corridor project area extends approximately between US 50 (Columbia Parkway) in Fairfax and the I-71 ramp in Madisonville. The goal of the project is to create a balance of mobility and access through the area to better serve local communities, businesses and neighborhoods while at the same time, improve travel along this important community connector. More information is available at http://easterncorridor.org/projects/red-bank/red-bank-project-overview/.