MSD has postponed a plan to close a section of River Road for two years, starting Monday.
In an announcement on Sunday, MSD said that the closure at Seventh and West Washington streets would be delayed “until further notice.”
“In the last few days,” the agency said, “MSD has determined potential alternatives that may minimize the length of the closure and/or mitigate the closure.”
Insider reached out to a spokeswoman to find out more information about the alternatives but did not immediately hear back. In its news release, the agency said more information would be provided as plans develop.
The two-year project on the stretch of River Road was part of the Waterway Protection Tunnel. The agency plans to build an underground connection point to the tunnel in the area of River Road, Seventh and West Washington streets, according to the release.
The connection is called a “drop shaft,” it said, similar to a manhole that will drop about 200 feet in the ground. The drop shaft will move wastewater and rainwater from the sewer system to the tunnel. “This prevents the combined waters from overflowing into the Ohio River.”
MSD had plans to build the drop shaft in the median at Seventh and Washington, but said in its release that “We are now exploring options that could accomplish this same goal with much less disruption to the public, businesses and attractions in the area.”
The Waterway Tunnel Project will eliminate 22 sewer overflow points that dump 351 million gallons of sewage and rainfall in a typical year into the South Fork of Beargrass Creek and the Ohio River, MSD said.
By 2020, it said, MSD will capture and treat 98 percent of the combined sewer overflow volume in a typical year of rain. Combined sewer overflows will then total only 343 million gallons in a typical year, substantially less than the two- to nearly six-billion gallons of combined sewer overflows per year that MSD has reported in recent years.
In February, multiple roads were closed and homes and businesses were impacted when the Ohio River crested above the flood stage.