Team Designing and Building the Western Hills Viaduct Replacement Kicks off Project's Next Phase 

Hamilton County Engineer Eric Beck (right) and Cincinnati Project Manager Bill Shefcik (middle), joined Design Project Manager Sajid Abbas (left) in picture

The full team designing and building the replacement for the Western Hills Viaduct is kicking off the next phase of the $398 million project with an in-person workshop in Cincinnati to address a range of engineering and construction details.

The team, which includes more than 100 bridge construction professionals from a dozen organizations locally, regionally and from across the country, met in Cincinnati yesterday and today, Thursday Aug. 17 and Friday, Aug. 18.

"With the full team now in place, we will develop our final game plan needed to start construction," said Bill Shefcik, project manager for the City of Cincinnati Department of Transportation & Engineering. "We will be finalizing our detailed designs and working through constructability challenges over the next two years in collaboration with our construction contractor and other professionals we need to make this transformative project a reality."

Construction of the new bridge is scheduled to begin in 2025. The city and Hamilton County are leading the management of the project.

"The magnitude of this project presents unique challenges that require consideration of multiple options and diverse viewpoints,” said Eric Beck, Hamilton County Engineer. “One of the biggest challenges will be planning how to build the bridge over a large, active railyard with 32 tracks. Working with the entire team from this point forward will guarantee every detail is considered and we will have a successful project."

The team includes government agencies, construction contractors, cost estimators, designers, railroad companies and utilities. Specifically:

  • City of Cincinnati Department of Transportation & Engineering
  • Hamilton County Engineer's Office
  • Ohio Department of Transportation
  • Federal Highway Administration
  • Construction contractor, Walsh Kokosing Joint Venture
  • Independent Cost Estimator, Kelly McNutt Consulting
  • Designer, T Y Lin
  • CSX Transportation & Norfolk Southern Railway
  • Duke Energy, Greater Cincinnati Water Works, Metropolitan Sewer District

Team of about 50 designers, engineers, and construction partners sit at tables listening to presenter. The city recently completed demolition of a second building in the footprint of the new bridge along Spring Grove Avenue. This site just to the north of the existing viaduct will be the location for Duke Energy's new electric substation. Construction of the new substation is scheduled to begin in the fall of 2024. Duke will finalize its designs over the coming year and relocate its associated transmission lines.

Posted on 08/18/2023