CINCINNATI — The Cincinnati City Council voted to request hundreds of thousands of dollars in state funds for the Wasson Way Trail. The funds would extend the trail into Avondale and save local tax dollars.
The city will apply for up to $500,000 from the Clean Ohio Trails Fund for the effort. Those funds would be added to another federal grant the city already received for the trail back in 2020 for $3.7 million. Council member Greg Landsman said if the city gets the money, it would add to the overwhelming support the project has already received.
"It seems like almost every week we're accepting private, philanthropic dollars for Wasson Way, which is fantastic,” Landsman said. “This group of leaders, they've done such an incredible job both in building out the trail but also in raising the money for it."
Wade Johnston, the director of Tri-State Trails, said the city is applying for state funds to lessen the amount of local tax dollars going into the effort. The money would specifically finance the seventh phase of construction of the trail which would expand it all the way to the intersection of Martin Luther King Avenue and Reading Road.
The Uptown Innovation Corridor, an expansive multi-use complex, is being built at that location. Johnston said he and the other organizers of the project are invested in building the trail because it will give locals the option to walk or bike from one part of the city to the next. That means neighborhoods will be better connected, and Cincinnati will become even more attractive as a city overall.
“This big vision is going to help elevate Cincinnati to a national stage with other cities that have these types of amenities. And it’s going to help us be able to attract and retain talented professionals to live in this region, to attract businesses and economic development opportunities,” Johnston said.
"There's been a lot of use on that trail day and night, weekends, during the week,” said John Brazina the director of the Department Of Transportation And Engineering. “And it's been a great connection because it reconnects Evanston, Xavier University, all the way to our great park system…People are really enjoying the asset that we've built."
The city projects it will open phase seven, the final phase of the trail, by early 2025.
Monique John covers gentrification for WCPO 9. She is part of our Report For America donor-supported journalism program. Read more about RFA here.
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