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Cincinnati to seek federal grant for Wasson Way plan

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Cincinnati Council could vote Wednesday to apply for up to $29 million in federal money to fund the Wasson Way Commuter Trail Network.  

It is a proposed shared-use path for bikes and pedestrians along an unused rail line running through several eastside city neighborhoods. 

Transportation and Engineering Director Michael Moore said the city is trying to take advantage of a federal concept called "ladders of opportunity."    

“We have grown the project scope a little bit to do more than just the trunk that is the Wasson project,” Moore said.  “To find some very key and strategic additions that might get us to some neighborhoods like Avondale and Paddock Hills.  To do that in a very cost-effective way and we’re looking at how we can add those to the project to help the competiveness on that ‘ladders of opportunity’ side.”

Norfolk Southern currently owns the railroad track, which hasn't been used since 2009.  The city is continuing discussions with the company to buy the property.  

The federal TIGER grant would require about a $7 million dollar match from the city.  Moore said that could include private money from fundraising efforts and funds from the city's capital budget.