Here are the facts as Ohio River Way understands them from City, SORTA(Southern Ohio Regional Transit Authority) and TID documents:
- 2007-2014 City completed construction from Carrel Street across Kellogg, past school and then along river for 0.5 miles at Schmidt Field.
- Future opportunity to construct trail along river for 0.4 miles at Leblond Field for a total of 0.9 miles.
- City has not been able to secure property or rights to construct trail along river for balance of trail. Remainder would be located in bike lane on Riverside Drive and then ramp up on bridge over Riverside Drive before Rookwood underpass to Oasis Corridor.
- Only 25% of River Trail will be on Ohio River.
- The 4.0 miles from Carrel Street to Boathouse, the trail can be constructed on abandoned north rail track owned by SORTA with no road crossings or elevation changes.
- Eastern Corridor (EIS) recommended phase one rail service in Oasis Corridor will require station at Columbia Tusculum and special event station at Boathouse and use of only the south rail track for passenger service with 1500 ft. passing lane on north track.
- Trail is being designed to accommodate these requirements.
- The 50 ft. wide Oasis Corridor can accommodate rebuild of trail and expansion of rail service to 2 tracks if needed in future.
- Temporary trail on north rail tracks construction cost is $4 million. Cost to move trail north of 2 rail tracks $20 million.
- Ohio River Way has agreed to raise funds of $4 million to construct trail on north tracks.
- Great Parks has agreed to maintain trail as part of the extension of the Little Miami Scenic Trail in Hamilton County.
Rails with Trails
- There are 13 Rails with Trails in Ohio and 109 in the U.S.
- International Friendship Park already has 0.5 mile trail next to rail.
- SORTA owns Oasis Corridor including north tracks and land undersouth tracks.
- Oasis Corridor was purchased with FTA grant by SORTA with requirement that it be used for transportation purposes.
- Ohio River Way understands this agreement and has waited until the Eastern Corridor Transit Study was completed by HDR on September 5, 2013 and updates in 2014 to begin its preliminary engineering of trail to accommodate the proposed rail requirements.
- We are now ready to move forward with the design and construction of the Oasis Trail after SORTA and Great Parks sign the Oasis Trail Permit and FTA approves the request.
- All the appropriate partners will be a part of the design process led by Great Parks who will be constructing the trail including SORTA, the Hamilton County TID, City and G&W Railroad.
Don Mills, Board Member