Thursday, June 24, 1999

Second Street model shows car, bus lanes

The Cincinnati Enquirer

        Plans for a downtown transit center are coming together, literally.

        A model of what the new two-tiered Second Street will look like is to be presented today before the City of Cincinnati-Hamilton County Riverfront Steering Committee.

        Designs are in place to accommodate cars and, potentially, electric-powered light rail on the top of Second Street, which will be built directly south of the reconstructed Fort Washington Way. Diesel-powered commuter rail could eventually run together with the buses on the lower level.

        Construction on the $26.5 million project should begin in October. The top level of Second Street is scheduled to open in August 2000 when the new Paul Brown Stadium opens. The lower half of Second Street should open in 2001. Buses that now line up at Cinergy Field will line up there. The buses will lose the plaza at Cinergy Field when it's torn down to make room for the new Reds ballpark.

        “We're at the point now in design and negotiation in the whole riverfront development where we can see what we're ultimately going to have,” Metro General Manager Paul Jablonski said. “That is nice progress.”

        The model shows:

        • The two-tiered center running between Walnut and Main streets.

        • Glass-covered stairway openings on the top level, one near Walnut Street and one near Main Street, that lead from the top level to the bottom level. An elevator is located between the two streets.

        • About 40 “saw-tooth” bus slots that allow buses to easily pull in and out and access I-75, I-71, I-471 and U.S. 50.

        Planners say this is the time to build the transit center because Second Street already was scheduled for an overhaul as part of the Fort Washington Way project. It stretches from the Interstate 71-75 Brent Spence Bridge through the Lytle Tunnel.


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