In Mayor Mark Mallory’s final State of the City Address in November 2013, he featured a presentation prepared by MSD in which the Mayor shared a vision for redevelopment along Cincinnati’s western riverfront driven by our need to reconfigure our antiquated sewer system. This presentation was a pleasant surprise and great endorsement of our vision for the Western Riverfront!
For those not familiar with our local sewer woes, Hamilton County is in the midst of a roughly $3.5 billion (that’s billion with a B) federally mandated sewer improvement project that requires MSD to eliminate sanitary sewer overflows into our local creeks, streams and rivers, mostly to be accomplished by separating our combined sewers into dedicated sanitary sewers and storm infrastructure. Cincinnati is one of several cities in America addressing this problem. You can learn more about that here.
MDS’s presentation identified four areas along the west side between downtown and Bender Road and proposed several infrastructure improvements such as wetland creation and rain gardens that would help MSD reconfigure the sewer system… AND private development opportunities that might accompany and complement those remedies. The entire slide show with maps is below.
So, what does this have to do with the Western RiverWalk?
MSD and the City have done an excellent job of imagining what kind of community amenities might accompany their storm water improvements, including new and expanded recreation and commercial areas as well as engineered and restored natural wetlands and water courses. While we think some of their vision might be just a bit… umm… optimistic (a Ferris wheel at Anderson Ferry?), we applaud and embrace the idea that a very utilitarian and very expensive infrastructure project could and should be used as a catylist to revitalize a neighborhood. Just like the Waldvogel Viduct Reconstruction project, and the future Price’s Landing Park have provided new routes and rights of way, any large scale public infrastructure project along the riverfront provides an opportunity to re-envision how the RiverWalk will travel and what it might encounter and what it might connect as it ventures west toward Indiana.
Complete set of slides from the State of the City Address MSD presentation, Oct 28, 2013