Cincinnati has plan to prevent streetcar delay

Sep 19, 2012

Cincinnati Council's Budget and Finance Committee will consider several items Monday that city administrations say will prevent the streetcar project from being further delayed.

Credit Jay Hanselman

In a press release, officials say Council will be asked to set aside $15 million dollars from the recent sale of the Blue Ash Airport to pay for work to relocate Duke Energy's line and pipes along the streetcar route. 

Officials said this will allow the project to move forward while the city and the company address who will pay for it. 

The city said its Duke's responsibility, the company disagrees.  Officials said talks are continuing. 

The $15 million comes from the recent $37 million sale of land adjacent to the former Blue Ash Airport and is expected to be recovered upon resolution of the utility issue.  It will then be available for other uses.  In the release, the city said it is confident in its position regarding who is legally responsible. 

“It is not feasible to sit idle awaiting an outcome,” said City Manager Milton Dohoney, Jr.

By agreeing with Duke Energy to front the cost of the relocation work pending resolution of liability for such costs, the City will prevent potential legal disputes from causing unnecessary delay and cost increases for public improvement projects.

The city will likely solicit bids for a general contractor this fall and work to build the streetcar system could begin after the first of the year.