Cincinnati Vice Mayor Roxanne Qualls, a candidate for mayor this fall, wants City Manager Milton Dohoney to have the streetcar line in service by the 2015 All-Star Game.
In an email sent to Dohoney, and copied to current mayor Mark Mallory, according to the Cincinnati Business Courier, Qualls said “the eyes of the nation will be upon us” in 2015, calling the game “another major opportunity for extended national and international attention.”
Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig announced in Cincinnati last week that the sport’s mid-summer special game will be played at Great American Ball Park in July of 2015.
This follows the recent announcement from the city that the opening of the streetcar line now will not occur until April 2016.
The streetcar would provide service to the ballpark, and to other places such as Fountain Square, Horseshoe Casino, and Over-the-Rhine. Qualls asked for a report within a week from the city detailing how the earlier schedule could be met.
Construction Bids Over Target
Subsequently, construction bids for the streetcar lines track and stations came in between $26 million and $43 million higher than budget, according to www.cincinnati.com. These bids plus other changes could raise the overall $110.4 million streetcar budget to more than $130 million. The city is analyzing the reason for the disparity and may reject the bids in an effort to bring project costs back in line.
Duke Energy Sues City Over Relocation Costs
According to www.incinnati.com, Duke Energy filed a suit challenging the constitutionality of a city ordinance that requires it to pay to relocate utility lines in the streetcars path. Given the intractable negotiations between the City and Duke, the City agreed with the course of seeking a legal determination.