FRONT ENTRANCE FACELIFT
JULY, 2022 UPDATE
COMPTON ROAD GATEWAY
The new “Gateway” to Arlington’s grounds is moving forward, albeit slowly. The new electronic gate system is now in place and functional. We are now in the process of acquiring the construction permit from Hamilton County for the new signage. We understand that the permit is forthcoming in the next few days. Once we have the permit in hand, the footer for the sign will be installed with the masonry work to follow.
Just a word about the pace of this project, and every other construction project that is underway currently. Nothing, absolutely nothing moves forward at the pace that we would like to see. For instance, the new gates were ordered in October, and we finally took delivery in June – a supply chain issue. The installation took 2 ½ weeks – much longer than anticipated – a vendor issue stemming from a lack of employees. We are simply in a period where there are delays layered on top of delays producing the appearance of inefficiency.
But in the current “post pandemic” environment, the alternative is to simply do nothing; and rather than do nothing, we’ve opted to wobble through each project – and it does feel extremely wobbly at times – gnashing our teeth with every new delay. (A related sidebar here: A big shout out to Chick-a-Fila for figuring out how to maintain its operating efficiency!)
Notwithstanding Chick-a-Fila’s example, the message here is that we all need to exercise patience. Once the project is completed, I think everyone will appreciate the improvements.
ARLINGTON’S CHRISTUS STATUE
We’ve received a few questions regarding the Christus statue that welcomed visitors to Arlington for many years. The statue itself has numerous hairline cracks and the base has all but crumbled away. It has been removed for repairs and/or replacement.
As the next phase of the gateway gets underway next year, a plan has been designed to install a pond and water features immediately to the east of the exit. Once that is completed, the Christus (or a new replacement) will be prominently situated as the primary feature of that new area. We appreciate the interest in our projects and development of the park. Thank you!
MAY, 2022 UPDATE
COMPTON GATEWAY UPDATE
Arlington’s Gateway Development, which entails the entire north end of Arlington’s grounds, is a comprehensive project that will take multiple years to complete. The project reshapes and redefines the parks access and usage off of Compton Road.
Before the onset of Mother’s Day, the application of the top layer of blacktop on the new exit lanes will have commenced – the hope being that the thousands of weekend visitors will experience smooth sailing in and out of Arlington during this special day set-aside annually to honor mothers and the sacrifices they make for their children.
Westside Paving & Excavating of Cleves began mobilization last week and is set to resume work on Monday (May 2) with the very earnest hope that they will have completed that part of the project before week’s end. While the roads will be complete, it’s unfortunate that the new gate system, scheduled for arrival back in January has apparently become yet another victim of the manufacturing supply chain snarl and isn’t likely to arrive until mid-May, although we’ve learned throughout the pandemic to take target dates with a grain of salt.
Regardless, much of the utility work – the new electric service, storm sewers and irrigation systems have already been installed and we’re pleased that the end of this initial phase of the Gateway project will be concluded yet this summer.
What’s next? Well, within just a few weeks the gates will be installed adding to the functionality of entering and exiting our grounds. Almost simultaneously, work will begin on the new front signage that will set the stage for an entirely new wayfinding system throughout the park. With the construction and opening of the Arlington Funeral Home, located on six acres of land in the extreme southwest quadrant of the park, new visitors, and sometimes even returning visitors can find it a bit of a Rubik’s Cube challenge to locate a specific destination. New directional signs are therefore included in this phase of the Gateway project and should improve that problem
MARCH, 2022 UPDATE
COMPTON ROAD GATEWAY
In the past we’ve posted information related to our construction at Compton Road that we’re now referring to as the Compton Road Gateway. It’s not quite so simple and would technically be a misnomer to simply refer to that area as the entrance because there’s not only an entrance lane but also a separate exit lane. What is common to both are gates and hence the name Gateway.
Construction has resumed following a winter pause where the inconvenience of altered traffic patterns and construction cones caused only minor snafus. Westside Paving & Excavating has remobilized and completed the grading and application of the base layer of asphalt on the exit lane. It’s easier now to begin seeing how the widened lanes will make it easier and accelerate traffic leaving the park.
In the next couple of weeks, new electric service will be installed to power the forthcoming new gates, signage and eventually the lights and fountains of a newly created pond to the east of the exit lanes. We anticipate the gate installation to take place in March although as is always the case these days, delays are possible.
The Gateway project is a sprawling project that actually incorporates several components of improvements for the north end of the park. One construction component has pulled us to consider other improvements, the way the moon pulls the tides. However, the reality of budgetary restrictions necessitates a break of a year or so once the gates and signage are installed. I’ve included two renderings that provide insights to how the Gateway will look once completed.
It’s always good to know that people are interested, and a couple of questions have arisen regarding the Gateway project that lend themselves to being answered by way of discussion – perhaps teasing out some of the rationale for embarking on this project to begin with. First and foremost, we have the very practical issue of taking deliveries, particularly deliveries of granite on long, flatbed trucks, that have created logistical problems for us and some of our neighbors.
The trucks would frequently block traffic or rut yards and sometimes both. And, when they entered our property from Compton Road, they hampered internal traffic and would often get stuck trying to negotiate our narrow roads – roads that weren’t designed for such large transportation vehicles. By widening the roads, we’re solving all those problems.
But, as mentioned above, widening the roads forced us to address other issues. The former narrow gates and gate pillars had been hit and repaired any number of times. We felt it was time to develop a more sustainable and modern gate system and while we’re at it, introduce new signage that is easily definable and visible.
We anticipate that most of the construction will be complete by May 15th although construction of the sign may go into the summer months. There’s a lot that goes into sign manufacturing and labor and/or material shortages could come into play. Nevertheless, we look forward to these improvements and believe that all of our guests, visitors and families will benefit with the improved circulation of traffic in and around the Compton Road Gateway as we complete this phase of the project.
UPDATE – January 27, 2022
COMPTON GATEWAY PROJECT – UPDATE
We continue to make progress behind the scenes with the Main Gateway Project. If you’ve been on our grounds since November, you will have noticed a substantial difference entering or exiting from or to Compton Road. The new entrance roadway is significantly wider now and much more convenient when, for instance, cars are gathering or lining-up in preparation of a funeral procession. Those situations, while quite necessary, often produce a bottleneck at the entrance. The wider roadway eliminates those awkward traffic dilemmas.
At the first sign of warmer temperatures, we plan to attack the lane exiting from the grounds with two lanes, one dedicated to traffic turning left while a separate lane will enable unimpeded right turns. That eliminates bottlenecks leaving the grounds.
Sometime within the next month or so our new gates should be installed. We have begun working with Springfield Township officials on new signage and anticipate that construction work for signage and lighting will begin during the spring. We’ll continue to provide updates as work progresses
UPDATE – December 23, 2021
COMPTON ROAD GATEWAY UPDATE
If you’ve been an Arlington visitor during the autumn, you’ve certainly noticed all of the construction activity as you enter the grounds from Compton Road. That construction is part and parcel of a very significant project that we’re calling the Compton Road Gateway. Essentially, once completed, the frontage of the memorial park will have a much different look than it has since virtually the development of Arlington eighty-seven years ago.
For some time now the Board of Trustees has considered a plethora of different ideas for the frontage of the park. Ten years ago, there was serious consideration given to the idea of building the Arlington Funeral Home in the undeveloped land just to the east of the Compton Road gates. That idea was jettisoned not only because of the lack of parking, but also because it was determined that families choosing the Arlington funeral home would have a much better experience through the development of a new campus in the southwest quadrant of Arlington’s property that provides a setting of natural beauty, other splendid features, and the convenience of an onsite parking lot. The result is the new Arlington Funeral Home and Care Center which opened in 2020.
But more practical considerations brought about this year’s construction. Large delivery trucks are now a common occurrence, and they require wider roads. In addition, we often have traffic backed up as cars are exiting the park. For these reasons and others, the gateway project became a reality this year. However, because we wanted to limit traffic problems during construction, we opted to break the project into two phases allowing traffic to flow in and out of the park with only minor disturbances.
What’s Different? The most immediate noticeable difference will be the widening of the roads. This will be particularly apparent as you enter and leave the park. But as the project continues into 2021, other differences will be new water features, new flag poles, electronic gates, new signage and a rebuilt balustrade. In addition, the ravine area behind the balustrade will be further developed (see preliminary rendering).
The Compton Road Gateway project is an ongoing effort to update and produce additional beauty to the existing grandeur of the park. While all of this takes place, we continue to believe it can be accomplished with only minor disturbances, but we will continue to ask for the patience of all our visitors.
UPDATE – November 8, 2021
Phase I of our Gateway Project, which is the construction of a new entrance lane to the grounds, has gained steam for the past week as the weather has improved with mild temperatures and beautiful, sunny autumn skies. As a result, Westside Paving’s construction crew has made significant progress towards completion of Phase I. However, entering the park could become a bit stickier for the next couple of days given that the entrance lane has been temporarily narrowed to enable ongoing work.
We’re providing this cautionary notice to assure that your visit to our grounds is as convenient and safe for you and the construction crew as possible. Our best advice is to be very careful when approaching the entrance and proceed very slowly through the construction site.
We’ll continue to provide updates as necessary
UPDATE: WEATHER HINDERS CONSTRUCTION SCHEDULE – November 1, 2021
The week of October 25 was a complete “washout” due to the consistent rain fall almost all week long. As a result, the Compton Road Gateway project came to a complete standstill. Fortunately, other than looking utterly unsightly, the construction hasn’t yet created any logjams as traffic has flowed in and out of the park.
Looking at this week’s sunnier forecast, it seems likely that much more work will be completed. We still believe that this phase of the project will be completed in the next two to three weeks. But, as we all know, nothing brings on rain quicker than starting your lawn mower…or starting an outdoor project.
We thank our visitors for their patience and we’ll continue to provide updates.
UPDATE: CONSTRUCTION UNDERWAY ON COMPTON ROAD GATEWAY PROJECT – October 21, 2021
As we’ve discussed in newsletters and on our social media platforms and website, the scheduled construction for our Compton Road Gateway is now underway. General Contractor TriVersity Construction is managing the project with Westside Paving & Excavating performing the demolition and repaving and the Osterwisch Company performing all the new electrical work.
Given the scope of this project, it’s been broken into phases to limit the disturbance of traffic flow in and out of the park. This autumn’s Phase I is limited to widening and relocating the entrance lane, moving it further to the west. In addition, the shrubbery located at the exit will be removed as well as the unsightly power pole, which will be relocated to a more appropriate location. Electric gates will be installed later this year.
Next year, Phase II will include the widening of the exit from the park including separate lanes for right and left turns onto Compton Road. New pillars and signage will also be included in Phase II. Phase III will include the development of the wooded area behind the balustrade which we began clearing this past summer and the expansion of Whispering Winds with new cremation memorialization options incorporated as part of the expansion.
During the current construction phase, we expect very little disruption but there could be minor changes in traffic patterns entering the grounds. Our best advice is to pay close attention when turning into the park from Compton and then drive slowly with caution. Construction should be completed in about three weeks, depending on weather.
UPDATE: COMPTON ROAD ENTRANCE CONSTRUCTION – October 2, 2021
Plans for the redesigned Compton Road entrance to the Memorial Park have been finalized and work will begin within a matter of days, or shall we say, as soon as the weather permits for the mobilization of equipment and for the initial stages of the project. That work includes the grading of newly configured and wider roads.
Dry weather is a key component of new road excavation because it exposes the “sub-soil” to the elements, particularly rain; and, rain-saturated sub-soil is unsuitable for new pavement. While “undercutting” is an effective technique that mitigates sub-soil saturation, it’s expensive and time consuming – two factors that we’re trying to effectively manage. This simply highlights the fact that the science and engineering of road construction has advanced enormously over time but the one thing that still provides contractors with challenges is, wait for it…the weather!
Cincinnati-based TriVersity Construction is serving as the general contractor and Westside Paving & Excavating is the project’s sub-contractor. Designed by Arlington’s longtime architectural partner, HWH Architects, Engineers & Planners of Cleveland, Ohio, the entrance phase project is merely a component of a much larger redevelopment of the entire north end of the park that will be ongoing for the next two to three years. This construction is expected to last approximately three weeks and has been designed to produce little or no interruption to traffic entering or exiting the grounds.
For any questions you might have regarding this project, please feel free to contact Arlington’s main office at (513) 521-7003.
When Arlington was opened in 1934, the front door to the new memorial park was the Compton Road main gates and its landscaped parkway-like thoroughfare leading to the interior of the park and the various gardens. A contemporary design at the time, it received new embellishments from time to time including the installation of what became and yet remains the dominant feature, a replica of the statuary work by renowned sculptor Bertel Thorvaldson called the “Christus.”
Over the years, seasons and time have degraded both the functionality and the optics of the “gateway to Arlington” requiring Arlington’s leaders to respond with a major landscape facelift. Improving the flow of traffic entering and exiting the park is one imperative while adding interesting new designs and features is another. New roadway designs, gates, pillars, signage, and then tying the front entrance to the area adjacent to Whispering Winds with new water features are also included in the re-design.
When you arrive at Arlington through the Main Entrance from Compton Road, you’ll noticed the first traces of the impending work that is underway as overgrowth of vegetation and declining tress behind the existing stone balustrade is systematically being removed. As this project moves forward, our ultimate goal, as always in everything we do, is to improve the experience for those who visit our grounds and facilities. In the process of making these improvements, there may be some unavoidable inconveniences – something we apologize for in advance. As the very first phase of the 2- or 3-year project kicks-off in mid-September, we’ll do everything we can to minimize disruption to traffic for visitors or for those attending services of any kind within the gardens. Let us know if you have any difficulties that seem excessive – we’re always interested in feedback!