As streetcar construction nears Government Square, utility relocation and renewal will close the bus hub from 7:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., starting Tuesday, February 25. This construction is expected to take several days.
All Metro routes currently served at the stops A, B and C (Rts. 11, 33, 17, 19, 24, 46, 43) will be moved to Area E on Fifth Street. Signs will notify Metro riders of pick up and drop off locations. Metro will have extra employees stationed at Government Square to help riders and a police officer will direct traffic during the construction.
Located on Fifth Street between Walnut and Main Streets, Government Square is Metro’s largest transit hub. More than 15,000 people use Government Square each weekday.
Yesterday, Cincinnati City Council voted to restart streetcar construction after a three week pause to audit the project. Here’s what’s coming up over the next two weeks:
Thursday, Dec. 26
- Rail delivery on Elm Street (Findlay to McMicken). Elm Street will be closed from 11am-4pm.
Friday, Dec. 27 & Saturday, Dec. 28
- Rail installation resumes north of Findlay Market
Monday, Dec. 30
- Rebar installation resumes on Elm Street, north of Findlay Market.
- Building wood forms for trackwork resumes north of Findlay Market, with concrete placement expected Jan. 2-3.
- Work resumes on traffic signals and poles for overhead power.
- Water main work resumes on Walnut & Main streets.
Thursday, Jan. 2
- Excavation for trackwork resumes at Findlay & Elm streets.
As City Council prepares to make a crucial vote on whether to “pause” or continue the streetcar project, designer Giacomo Ciminello compiled a visual of the costs for both pausing and continuing with the project. The initial estimate shows a $400,000 difference between the two options. However with one option, $147 million will result in a streetcar and the other option would leave taxpayers footing a $147 million cancellation bill to have nothing built.
Council argues the $3-4 million annual operating costs of the streetcar rationalize their decision to spend the same amount of money to cancel the streetcar than to complete it, as they would be saving money in the long run. Earlier this week, project executives explained many options to pay for operating costs which would remove the burden from the city budget, and even allow the streetcar to operate “in the black,” turning a profit.
The vote on “pausing” the streetcar will not only define Cincinnati’s view on progress, but also on fiscal responsibility.
Streetcar Project Executive, John Deatrick, will be giving his estimate of the cost to cancel the Cincinnati Streetcar at a special meeting of the Finance Committee, Thursday, November 21, at 12:00pm.
Open to the public, the presentation will take place at City Hall in council chambers on the Third Floor. There will be no public comment taken but supporters are encouraged to attend.
(extra seating in the gallery, Fourth Floor)