Cincinnati To Seek Federal Grant For Western Hills Viaduct
Cincinnati Council could approve an ordinance Wednesday to apply for a $15 million federal grant to help replace the Western Hills viaduct.
The city would be applying for TIGER and INFRA grants from the U.S. Department of Transportation.
Hamilton County may also apply for such a grant. Commissioners are talking about using the money to place decks over a portion of Fort Washington Way.
Council Member Amy Murray wants the county commission to reconsider.
"I've been trying to encourage them that we do need to go together as a team on the Western Hills Viaduct so we get the funding for it and we have a better chance with the application so we're not competing against each other," she says.
The price tag to replace the Western Hills Viaduct is $330 million. The city proposes to use the TIGER or INFRA funds to demolish and reconstruct the eastern and western approaches to the replacement bridge.
Council Member Chris Seelbach supports the plan. "I hope that this is successful because it's a big problem," he says. "While it's owned by the county, it's how many of our residents access the city from the west side."
Seelbach says he wanted to pursue TIGER funds for the Western Hills viaduct two years ago when the city instead sought money for a bridge to maintain access to Cincinnati State. That project was not funded and the idea has been scrapped.