Cincinnati streetcar

Jay Hanselman / WVXU

Public officials and residents who support the Cincinnati streetcar project gathered in front of Music Hall on Elm Street Tuesday as the first pieces of track were put into place.  The unloading and installation will continue many times for the next 2 years.  

Mayor Mark Mallory said it's a big deal.

"This project has come a long way, we've had a lot of obstacles, we've had some crazy opposition," Mallory said.  "But this is the project that will not stop."

Jay Hanselman

Crews officially began demolition work Monday on two vacant buildings at the corner of Race and Henry in Over-the-Rhine.  The site is being cleared to construct the new maintenance facility for the streetcar system.  

It's where the vehicles will be cleaned and maintained and operations staff will be housed.  

Project Manager John Deatrick said this is a visible sign of construction since most streetcar work has been underground moving or repairing utilities.  He said that task will also continue.

The Banks website

The man behind Cincinnati's popular Banks development along the riverfront is officially moving on to something a little more challenging.

John Deatrick is taking over the Cincinnati Streetcar as the project executive. Challenging because the project and its funding remain hot-button issues.

Deatrick says he believes Cincinnati needs to repopulate its urban core, not only with people but also goods and services.

Jay Hanselman / WVXU

Cincinnati officials Monday signed a contract for construction work on the city's controversial streetcar system. 

The action means Cincinnati-based Messer Construction and two other firms can proceed with the project.  That includes ordering materials, and beginning track construction, plus the power system, the stations and a maintenance and operation facility located at Race and Henry Streets. 

The city says the system could be ready for passengers on September 15, 2016. 

Jay Hanselman / WVXU

Cincinnati's City manager said Friday the city is close to awarding a contract to build the streetcar project.

Milton Dohoney, Jr. said in a memo the streetcar project has sufficient funding to allow it to proceed.

He said city administrators are in the final stages of discussions with a partnership involving Cincinnati-based Messer Construction and Prus/Delta Railroad JV.

City of Cincinnati

Some preliminary construction work on the Cincinnati streetcar project will result in a downtown street closing this weekend.

Duke Energy will be working at the intersection of Fifth and Walnut Streets to relocate underground electric facilities, according to a press release from the city.

The closures will begin Friday at 6 p.m. and remain in place until Monday at 6 a.m.

West Fifth Street will be closed between Vine and Main.  Walnut Street will be closed between East Sixth and East Fourth.

City of Cincinnati

Cincinnati Council is ready to give city administrators an additional $17.4 million to build the first phase of the much debated streetcar project.  

The Budget and Finance Committee approved the extra money Monday with a 5-4 vote.  The full Council will consider it Wednesday.  

The additional funds are coming from a variety of sources including other capital accounts and more bonding.  

Council Member Yvette Simpson remains supportive of the streetcar.

Jay Hanselman / WVXU

The Ohio Kentucky Indiana (OKI) Regional Council of Governments has told the Hamilton County commissioners it is too late to take back $4 million pledged to the city of Cincinnati's streetcar project.

Two county commissioners, Republicans Greg Hartmann and Chris Monzel, had asked OKI to rescind the money because of cost overruns on the streetcar project and that the money should be used on other area infrastructure projects.

No can do, OKI director Mark Policinski told the commissioners in a June 4 letter.

Hamilton County Commissioners Chris Monzel and Greg Hartmann are calling on the Ohio Kentucky Indiana Regional Council of Governments (OKI) to pull promised dollars from the Cincinnati Streetcar project.

In a letter, the pair say that because of "significant cost overruns" they believe OKI's $4 million could be better spent elsewhere. They also request alternative options for the money's use be brought before the OKI executive council.

They write:

City of Cincinnati

Cincinnati City Manager Milton Dohoney spent more than two-and-a-half hours Monday answering questions about his plan to find an additional $17.5 million to build the streetcar project.  

About two weeks ago he suggested using funds from several different sources to cover the gap.  

Dohoney was asked about future cost overruns with the plan?  He said that’s possible, but there is some certainty.

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