In June of 2002, in
anticipation of the November "Metro Moves" campaign, the light rail
alignment that would have required the Mt. Auburn Tunnel was abandoned
in favor of a cheaper route which would have followed I-71 out of
dowtown, bypassing the University of Cininnati area.
Cincinnati Business Courier
did the best reporting on the light rail proposal, but unfortunately
asked me to remove their articles from the site. Registration is
free, and they can be seen at http://www.bizjournals.com/cincinnati
in the archives section. Simply type "light rail" for over a
dozen articles. The Cincinnati
Enquirer and Cincinnati Post
archives are not free.
Mt. Auburn Light Rail Tunnel
The Mt. Auburn Tunnel was part of a proposed 30+
rail line running from the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky Airport
in Hebron, KY north to
King's Island Amusement Park in Mason. The initial line was to have run
from 12th St. in Covington to downtown Cincinnati, The University of
Cincinnati, and terminate at Xavier University. This segment
would have included a new bridge over the Ohio River (likely adjacent
to the Clay Wade Bailey Bridge) and a major tunnel under Mt. Auburn.
The Mt. Auburn Tunnel was planned to eventually
from three different light rail branches, which would have converged
miles north of the tunnel adjacent to Xavier University's campus.
An eastern branch along the
presently existing Wasson Rd. freight line through Hyde Park and a
northern branch roughly paralleling I-75, possibly as far north as
could eventually bring a tremendous volume of traffic to the tunnel,
justifying its high cost.
Possible integration of existing subway tunnel with proposed light rail line is obvious from this diagram. Existing subway is constructed just below street level, so ramps leading to the surface would be easily constructed.
EXISTING SUBWAY TUNNEL
*modern rolling stock can use the existing tunnels.
SHOWS SURFACE RUNNING PORTIONS OF
PROPOSED LIGHT RAIL
*Light Rail line is currently planned to run split between Main St. and Walnut St. and on either side of Ft. Washington Way.
*Light Rail Stations, from top to bottom: University Hospital, University of Cincinnati, Christ Hospital (Auburn Ave.), Court St., 5th St., Riverfront
MT. AUBURN TUNNEL
*Tunnel to be dug several hundred feet under the hill.
Standing at the south portal location, above Mulburry St., looking south towards downtown.
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