What’s that Giant Hole?

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You may have noticed some giant holes surrounded by wooden fencing appearing along the streetcar route. This is part of the utility relocation and improvement work being conducted by Duke Energy.

Recently, two of these giant holes were created near Washington Park on Race Street and 12th Street as Duke upgraded its power transformers. In a suburban neighborhood, these transformers are what you’d typically see up on poles, but in the city, they are buried underneath the street. Many of the old transformers in Over-the-Rhine are in need of modernization as they have been insulated with asbestos. Transformer upgrades are one of many utility improvements made possible by funding from the streetcar construction contract.


Streetcar Weekly Update: October 28, 2013

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For the week of October 28, 2013, the streetcar will have of a lot of highly visible progress on both the trackwork and at the Maintenance & Operations Facility site. As part of the city’s construction contract, the project is also involved with repairing public utilities. Here’s what to expect:

  • Trackwork will continue on Elm Street between 12th and Wade streets.



  • Water main installation will continue on Walnut Street near Court Street.
  • Additional sewer work will take place on Race Street between Henry and Findlay streets.
  • Underground gas work will be performed by Duke Energy on Main Street near 4th Street; on Walnut Street near 3rd Street; on Race Street near Henry Street; and on Race Street between Liberty and Green streets.
  • Underground electrical work will also be performed by Duke on 12th Street between Main and Elm streets; and on Race Street near 12th Street.
  • Cincinnati Bell will perform its infrastructure work on Elm Street between Henry and Liberty streets.
  • Conduit installation (tubing for electrical wires) for traffic signals will continue on Elm Street between Wade and Green streets; and on Race Street near Findlay Street.
  • Exploratory digging for utilities will start on Main Street near 4th Street

Ohio Rail Advocacy Group holds Semi-Annual Meeting in Cincinnati

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All Aboard Ohio, a state-wide advocacy group for rail, held its semi-annual meeting at the Symphony Hotel in Over-the-Rhine.

Presentations included updates on expanding Ohio Amtrak service,  and a program by John Schneider entitled “How Cincinnati Got Its Streetcars Back.” Schneider outlined the history and process of developing Cincinnati’s modern streetcars including overcoming two voter referendums and other hurdles that impeded construction. He also focused on the streetcar’s current progress, economic development, and the real estate boom of converting vacant office buildings Downtown into several hundred units of apartment and condominium housing.

With the recent laying of the first rails and last Friday’s first pour of concrete, conference attendees took a walking tour of the construction site. Led by Paul Grether, Manager Rail Services for METRO, the group learned about technical details of the build, as well as improvements to public utilities that are funded by the streetcar construction contract.

All Aboard Ohio, which is based in Cleveland, selected Cincinnati for a first-hand look at the streetcar and the development that occurred in Over-the-Rhine and in the Central Business District because of it. The organization believes the pro-rail movement in Cincinnati is essential for keeping young people, jobs, and hope in Ohio.

All Aboard Ohio members tour the streetcar route during their semi-annual conference.
All Aboard Ohio members tour the streetcar construction during their semi-annual conference.
Photo via @AllAboardOhio

Streetcar Workers serenaded with “I’ve Been Workin’ on the Railroad”

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A second grade class from School For Creative & Performing Arts surprised workers at the 12th and Elm Street construction site, warming their hearts with a song. A crew of 20 from Prus Construction and Delta Railroad had spent the cold, drizzly day setting forms in preparation to pour concrete when the students arrived. Marching in single file, each with a handmade paper engineer’s hat, the train of children stationed themselves in front of the work site.

Complete with choreographed dance moves and a train whistle blown on cue, the students cheerfully sang “I’ve Been Workin’ On The Railroad” to the construction workers. The crew looked on in awe, some whipping out their cell phones to capture a video of the moment. Afterwards, the children delivered a handmade card to one of the crew members. It read “Thank you to all the hard workers,” and was signed by the class.