Friday, October 28, 2016

Big Improvements Coming to Newport's Underpass and Monmouth Streets

Picture of the Newport Underpass, via NKYViews.com. 
Southbank Partners has received more than $7 million in grants from the OKI Regional Council of Governments that will be used for street improvements and pedestrian paths in the Southbank Partners cities of Newport and Dayton.

The City of Newport will receive $3.1 million to improve the area around the 11th Street Underpass over Monmouth Street and $3.2 million for improvements on Monmouth Street south of the Underpass to the Southgate city line. In addition, the City Dayton received $886,000 for continued development of Riverfront Commons, an 11-mile public walk-and-bikeway path connecting Northern Kentucky's river cities that is the brainchild of Southbank Partners.

"This will completely change how the dynamic of the Newport Underpass," said Tom Guidugli, a Newport City Commissioner. "We will finally be able to connect the north end of the city to the south, which has always been a huge obstacle."

All told, the two Southbank Partners cities received $9.8 million. The funds were allocated through the Surface Transportation Program for Northern Kentucky (SNK).

Southbank Partners President Jack Moreland said winning approval of the grants was a team effort. He credited Southbank Partners grant writers Robert Yoder and Henley McIntosh as well as Guidugli, who revived a portion of an earlier plan from when his father, Tom Guidugli Sr., served as mayor, as well as the members of the Newport City Commission and city administration.

Work on the Underpass portion of the project will include wider, safer sidewalks for both pedestrians or bikes, improved lighting and the removal of an obsolete of stairs.

The work on south Monmouth Street will include improved sidewalks, improved lighting, increased bicycle safety through the corridor and the removal of utility poles from the right of way.

"Like everything we do at Southbank, this was a true team effort," Moreland said. "For nearly two decades Southbank Partners has been a driving force in the successful riverfront development and infrastructure improvement of our partners cities. These projects will continue to improve the quality, safety and convenience of life for those who live, visit and work in the Southbank Partner cities."

OKI is a council of local governments, business organizations and community groups committed to developing collaborative strategies, plans and programs to improve the quality of life and the economic development potential of the Tri-State.

"These projects form a comprehensive network that will improve the region's economy and quality of life," said OKI CEO Mark Policinski. "They solve important roadway problems while also funding transportation options like bike and pedestrian paths, which communities consider a must-have rather than a nice-to-have. The environment, economy and safety of our region will be advanced by these wise expenditures."

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