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Thursday, December 5, 2019

Students take a run at fixing Campbell County's "Malfunction Junction"

By Robin Gee, Council Beat Editor 

A Highland Heights "Good Neighbor Award" went to a group of students from outside of the city whose project focused on helping Highland Heights with a specific problem. Seven students from Calvary Christian School in Covington gave a short presentation of their ideas aimed at addressing a local traffic issue.

Students from Calvary Christian School presented their ideas about a Highland Heights traffic issue to city council.

City Planner Dave Geohegan introduced the students and explained how the project came about. It all started when he got a call from an old friend looking for ideas for his daughter’s school group. The students were tasked with identifying and addressing a city infrastructure problem.

Located at 2000 Memorial Parkway, Fort Thomas. 
Fresh from a recent meeting of the US 27 Smart Corridor Committee, Geohegan said he had some ideas. He suggested the students take a look at the intersection of US 27 and Sunset, an area he dubbed "Malfunction Junction," and come up with suggestions on how to help pedestrians cross the busy and dangerous street.

The US 27 Smart Corridor Committee includes representatives of Highland Heights, Southgate, Newport, Fort Thomas and NKU in an effort to improve connectivity and revitalize the corridor. The committee had recently attended a workshop that included discussions of 'road diets' and other ways to make the corridor more 'human friendly.'

RELATED: Fort Thomas is first NKY city to sign Smart Corridor Memorandum 

Geoghegan said he’d been thinking about this and about the section of US 27 that runs through the city when he got the call from his friend that got the ball rolling.

The students, who are in 6th through 8th grades, are members of a school group they call the CIA — the Calvary Intelligence Agency. They presented a poster board and model for their idea to build a pedestrian bridge, complete with accessibility ramps and lighting for safety, that would go over the intersection. They even had ideas for funding including making the bridge out of materials, such as bricks, that residents could purchase and personalize.

The students were Reily BaileyErikah BrownColton FaineThomas GetsyAudrey McGlassonAly SammetMichael Verst and their teacher Mrs. Sammet. The group hopes to share their project in a STEM-related competition with the goals of reaching regional and state levels. They presented Geohegan with their team shirt as a thank you for his help.

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