Groundbreaking date set for phase 1 of Wasson Way trail

NORWOOD, Ohio -- The much-anticipated Wasson Way mixed-use trail project has a groundbreaking date.

The first phase of the proposed 7.6-mile trail is set to begin construction on June 1, 2017, advocates announced this week. The first phase will span along the southern edge of the Rookwood Commons shopping center between Madison Road and Tamarack Avenue in Norwood.

The phase one stretch encompasses a bit less than a mile of the planned trail that will eventually stretch from Victory Parkway near Xavier University in Cincinnati's Evanston neighborhood to the Little Miami Bike Trail in Anderson Township, which extends out to Mariemont.

The proposed trail, upon completion, would connect 10 local neighborhoods, both within and outside Cincinnati.

Cincinnati City Council set aside nearly $12 million in this year's capital budget to purchase 4.1 miles of unused rail corridor. Mayor John Cranley announced earlier this year that the city had closed on the deal, more than a year after reaching an agreement with Norfolk Southern on the deal's terms.

The city estimates that first phase will cost between $980,000 and $1,855,000 to construct.

The nonprofit backing the Wasson Way project has said the trail would spark countless development opportunities, boost spending locally by up to $9 million and increase the values of homes near the trail by up to $9,000 each.

The Wasson trail, under the proposed Cincinnati Connects Plan, is also slated to be one of four major trail plans that ultimately would connect to form a 42-mile network of trails running throughout the city

Pat LaFleur reports on transportation and development for WCPO. Connect with him on Twitter (@pat_laFleur).

WCPO's Joe Rosemeyer contributed to this report.

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