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Monday, February 22, 2021

Fort Thomas Plans Back-to-Back Street Resurfacing Projects; City Building Project Underway

Yikes! City Administrator Ron Dill shared photos of ongoing demolition inside the city building. He assured council it looks like chaos, but indicates good things are underway.

by Robin Gee, city council beat editor

Street resurfacing plans were the focal point of the February 16 meeting of Fort Thomas City Council.

Due to issues with the COVID-19 pandemic, city street resurfacing was delayed for 2020. While the ordinance passed council, work was put on hold during the height of the first wave of the virus.

Although the virus continues to take its toll, city crews are better prepared and ready to work on the 2020 project as soon as weather permits. City Administrator Ron Dill shared a plan to catch up with the work by completing 2020 projects by July 1 of this year, and then work would begin for 2021 in late summer or early fall.

Public input is still needed for the 2021 plan. A public hearing is schedule for that on March 23 at 7 p.m. in the Mess Hall. If all goes well, the 2021 street resurfacing ordinance would be presented for first reading at the council’s April meeting and for second reading and final approval in May.

Streets included in the plans

The 2020 street resurfacing project includes Beechwood, Robson, Military Parkway, Mayfield, Crowell, Holly Lane, Greenwood and a carryover from 2019 on North Fort Thomas Avenue (from Covert Run to the corporation line).

Dill said the bids for the 2020 work are in, and Riegler Blacktop of Florence was the low bid at $417,747. Staff worked with the company last year and prior years on sidewalk projects, and recommended city council approve the bid, he said. Council voted to approve Riegler to do the work.

The proposed streets for the 2021 program include Waterworks Road, a project Dill said has been needed and a long time coming. The plan was for SD1 to complete a major project on that road prior to city resurfacing. SD1 has completed their work, so now the city would like to focus on Waterworks and on rebuilding Wilbers Lane.

Dill announced additional good news on the city’s sidewalk program. Bids were in for sidewalk work on North Fort Thomas Avenue, a project funded through a federal 80/20 grant. Staff recommended the work be done by the lowest bidder, TMS Construction, coming in at $430,425. TMS has done sidewalk repairs for the city in the past. Council approved the bid.

City building project begins

Work has begun on the city building improvements. Construction crews are coordinating with abatement work, said Dill. 

He noted some grading work will be done at the back of the building, and bids are in for moving the cell tower and related infrastructure associated with it. The low bid for that work is $145,990. The city also has a 10-year leasing agreement with the company that uses the tower. He noted that the 911 system equipment will also need to be moved and that there will be additional cost to the city for that. Council voted to approve the initial bid to move the tower.

Right now the interior of the city building (not including police and fire) is undergoing demolition. It looks like a mess, but it is the start of good things to come, said Dill. He shared photos of the work now underway.

In December, the city approved a bid of $5,148,000 by Cincinnati-based general contractor Graybach LLC for the project. Completion date is expected to be about this time next year.

RELATED: Fort Thomas Plans Long Overdue Renovations and More for City Building

RELATED: City Council Approves Remodel Bids at Year-end Meeting
Demolition work underway, the main lobby of the city building is unrecognizable.

Scrap metal from columns in council chambers on the second floor. The contractor is working with a nonprofit to salvage materials from the demolition.

A view of second-floor council chambers as demolition underway.

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