Business owner facing downturn urges ‘low-cost’ solution after East End water main break

CINCINNATI (FOX19) – An East End business owner says he’s lost customers since a massive water man break shut down Riverside Drive in early January.

a group of people walking in front of a building: The water main break occurred on Riverside Drive in early January.

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The water main break occurred on Riverside Drive in early January.

The break occurred Jan. 3 in two water transmission lines in the 2400 block of Riverside Drive, according to Cincinnati Water Works.

CWW is underway with repairs. Stabilization work continues as crews plan to excavate a new hole for repairs. Some of a 60″ water main will need to be replaced.

Heavy construction is expected to take put o three months for completion and final restoration, CWW said Monday. Riverside from Delta Avenue to Collins Avenue is currently closed.

That leaves Christopher Rose in a tough situation.

Rose opened Sinners and Saints Tavern in the 2000 block of Riverside Drive around four months ago.

a sign on the side of the street: Sinners and Saints Tavern

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Sinners and Saints Tavern

“Sales were steadily increasing and things were going well,” he said. “We just came out of the holidays, and then on a Saturday at noon, the water main broke, essentially cutting off the east and west side of downtown, which is a major corridor for bikers, runners, everybody, which was a huge part of our traffic.”

Rose says his business is suffering a concerning loss of business.

“In defense of the city, they are doing the best job that they possibly can,” he said. “They are dealing with a pretty rough issue, but I don’t want to go out of business as a result of what happened a half-mile down the road.”

But there is something the city can do about the signage, Rose says.

Two signs exist informing drivers Riverside is closed to thru traffic, one downtown at Eggleston Avenue, the other at Bains Street, much closer to the break and the closure.

Problematically, the Bains sign reads “Local access to business up to Collins,” while the Eggleston sign, which is seen by more drivers, does not.

“So people are just veering off. I have sat and I’ve watched it happen. I have talked to so many customers, and they are saying, ‘We thought this was closed,’” Rose said. “We didn’t bother coming down. We just went somewhere else. So you have to not be deterred by the first sign to get to the second sign that says we’re open.”

Rose wants the city to put up additional signs that will better inform drivers about businesses in the area.

“I just think it’s very easy for the Department of Transportation and the city to actually make signs that benefit us. It’s low-cost. They should be helping us. They should be helping all of these businesses survive, especially now in an industry that’s being decimated.”

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