Cincinnati streetcar

Provided/City of Cincinnati

Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley said Tuesday he has a plan to pay for streetcar operations if City Council approves the "management option" presented by the Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority (SORTA) on June 5th.

Traveling in and through Downtown Cincinnati this weekend could be slightly challenging because of two different construction projects.  

Starting Friday at 7 p.m. and continuing through Monday at 6 a.m., Third Street will be closed between Main and Broadway so crews can install tracks for the streetcar system.

Provided / SORTA

A Cincinnati council committee could not reach a decision Tuesday on the best way to operate the city's streetcar system.  So the group will meet again next Wednesday.  

There are two proposals with about a $700,000 difference between them.  

Provided/City of Cincinnati

The Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority (SORTA) continues to insist federal guidelines prevent it from releasing the details about the proposals it has received to operate the city's streetcar system.

provided / City of Cincinnati

Work on the streetcar tracks will cause some traffic disruptions for the next three days.  Third Street will be closed between Walnut and Vine, and Walnut will be closed between Third and Fourth Streets starting Thursday night at 7, as contractors install rails.

Jay Hanselman / WVXU

As the Cincinnati Chamber prepares for this year's Taste of Cincinnati, vice president Pat Sheeran says it's not looking to move the food festival to accommodate the streetcar. 

Last week, Mayor John Cranley said the streetcar, when operational, would not supersede downtown events like Taste and Oktoberfest.  Sheeran says the chamber is happy the events won't have to move.

Provided / SORTA

The latest controversy with the Cincinnati streetcar project involves what happens to special events along the Downtown and Over-the-Rhine route.  

A report from WCPO Digital Wednesday said a city memo from last year indicated “no special event will be permitted to halt, close, delay or otherwise disrupt streetcar service.”  

Provided / SORTA

Cincinnati officials could be looking to plug about a $500,000 hole in the streetcar operating budget.  

The Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority, which will run the system, now estimates fare revenues will be about $675,000 a year.  That is less than an earlier estimate of $1 million.  

Part of the reduction could be in how fares are charged.  SORTA is planning for $1 for a two-hour pass.  Earlier studies were based on $1 per trip.

Bill Rinehart / WVXU

Second Street is closed between Vine and Main as crews install a curved piece of streetcar track.  Project Executive John Deatrick says it will be closed for two weeks because of the complicated nature of the construction.

“Traffic is difficult, but this is technically very difficult work,” Deatrick says.  “Putting in expansion boxes that allow the rail to slip back and forth against each other but yet keep the streetcar on the tracks when you pass over a bridge expansion joint.”

Those joints allow for expansion and contraction during hot and cold weather. 

Provided / SORTA

Construction work continues on the first phase of the Cincinnati streetcar project despite lots of snow and cold temperatures.  Crews once again plan to work on track at a busy downtown intersection this weekend. 

Project executive John Deatrick said that construction has been delayed twice because of the weather.

“The rail will start Friday night at 7 p.m., Fifth Street will be closed because we can’t put the rail down half at a time in the intersection,” Deatrick said.  “We have to do the whole intersection at one go.”