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Streetwork Moves into Downtown

Streetwork Moves into Downtown
Posted Thursday, August 21st 2014 @ 2pm  by 700WLW News

(Cincinnati) --  For the next few months, streetcar track installation will be tying up Walnut Street and its intersections.  Next year, the work moves to Main.  And it's expected to cause headaches for motorists.

That's why the City has created roadmapcincy, to publicize which roads are blocked.

So far, streetcar track installation was primarily in Over-the-Rhine.  But now that it's entering the Central Business District, it will interrupt more traffic, and commerce.  So, Executive Project Manager John Deatrick says they're talking with stores and companies.

Deatrick says they tell businesses ahead of time, so they can tell their customers they may need to find other parking.  Deatrick says they want to have a minimal impact on business. 

Deatrick says the work is on time and on budget, but there have been a few hiccups along the way, including a drunk driver who drove into the work zone at Race and 12th, and abandoned their car.

David Ginsburg with Downtown Partners, Inc., says all the work shows progress and growth. 

Earlier this week, the Cincinnati Enquirer reported it was unlikely the City would receive $5 million in Federal money for streetcar operation. 

Councilman Kevin Flynn says he was assured, personally, that the Federal Government would help with operational costs of the streetcar, and he says he's not giving up on that.

Flynn says the city can't count on millions coming from Washington, but he says they'll pursue every grant possible. 

And he says gift cards should go on sale in the next month, for streetcar tickets.  Flynn says more than 10,000 people signed a petition last year calling for construction to continue.  He says if those people each bought a $100 gift card, that would raise $1 million for operational costs.

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