Tue June 25, 2013
Cincinnati continues efforts to obtain Wasson Way line
Cincinnati officials are continuing their efforts to acquire about 5 miles of unused railroad track running through portions of Avondale, Evanston, Hyde Park, Oakley and Mt. Lookout.
The city is interested in a section of the Wasson Way line running from Victory Parkway to the west and Red Bank Road on the east.
Norfolk Southern currently owns the railroad track, but it hasn't been used since 2009.
Transportation and Engineering Director Michael Moore said getting it for the city involves a somewhat lengthy process.
“It is not a simple business transaction where we make an offer to Norfolk Southern for the potential purchase of the property,” Moore said. “It’s not quite that simple because this is regulated by the Surface Transportation Board, it gives other people opportunities to weigh in. And other folks who weigh in could have an effect on the city’s interests.”
The city would like to develop Wasson Way into a bike and hike trail. It could also be used if light rail were ever developed in the city.
Transportation and Engineering Director Michael Moore said part of the talks will involve a price for the line.
“We would anticipate that we’ll be far apart at first, but like in any negotiation we’ll hopefully come together,” Moore said. “We can show them this gives them an opportunity to divest themselves of some potential liabilities as well.”
The city manager included $3 million in the plan to lease most of the city's parking facilities for the Wasson Way project. That would likely cover the acquisition.
Council Member Laure Quinlivan says the total project would likely cost about $10 million.