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Emergency street repair at Covington’s 7th and Philadelphia intersection to affect parking, traffic

Emergency repair of a broken storm sewer lateral at the intersection of Seventh and Philadelphia streets in Covington will affect parking and through traffic in the area, but how big of an impact – and how long it lasts – is not yet known.

Markings show utility lines under the intersection of 7th and Philadelphia where broken storm sewer line in undercutting the road surface. (Photo provided)

“It’s just like emergency surgery, we’re going to have to open it up and see what we’ve got,” Covington Public Works Director Chris Warneford said. “But this is going to be a fairly substantial repair that could well last a week to 10 days.”

A small area of the street has already sunk 7 to 8 inches, and cracks in the asphalt surrounding that depression suggest a much larger area could soon collapse as well.

Dye tests show that a 100-year-old 15-inch clay pipe that connects a storm water catch basin to the primary discharge line is cracked, and rain water rushing through the pipe during recent storms has begun eroding the dirt around it, Warneford said.

Crews from KW Mechanical are expected to begin tearing up the intersection today, but they will have to proceed slowly because major electric, gas, and telecommunications lines run underground along Philadelphia Street, Warneford said.

“We have to be super careful, so this might take longer than we expect,” he said. 

Traffic changes for the time being:

·      Through traffic will be blocked at the intersection.
·      Barriers at Sixth Street will limit drivers on Philadelphia, which is one-way south, to local traffic.
·      Likewise, Seventh Street, which is one-way west, will be limited to local traffic at Bakewell Street.
·      On-street parking will be prohibited near the work site so traffic can be detoured around the edges of the excavation, but Warneford said those marked detours will depend on the size of the repair needed.

City of Covington

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