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Looking For Federal Money To Deck Fort Washington Way

When Fort Washington Way was rebuilt in 1999, it was designed so it could be covered by three blocks of buildings up to four stories tall.

The covering of a portion Fort Washington Way might be eligible for federal funding. At least, Hamilton County commissioners hope it is.

Board President Todd Portune says the county is looking at applying for a TIGER grant, which is usually for transportation related projects.

"Where we stand a better chance, say than Pittsburgh, and Pittsburgh did get a TIGER grant for a deck going over their Interstate, is that the decks over Fort Washington Way were always a part of the Fort Washington Way narrowing project," Portune says. 

Fort Washington Way was re-constructed so it could be covered and built upon. Pittsburgh received a $19 million TIGER grant in 2016.

Portune says that kind of money would go a long way to covering one block.

"The revenues that would be generated then from that development, captured through TIF (Tax Increment Financing) and the like, the thought is is that goes into the second deck, do the development, capture the revenues, fund the third deck, development, capture the revenues, to fund the fourth deck," Portune says. 

Portune compared the process to how the Banks is being financed.

That fourth deck would be built as a park.  Each deck would cost an estimated $25 million.

Portune says the county will look at getting cooperation from Cincinnati, the state and the OKI Regional Council of Governments.