Tuesday, June 8, 2010

$350K grant to aid Northern Kentucky riverfront project

A key component of an ambitious plan to tie Northern Kentucky's river cities together with greenways and trails has secured $350,000 from the Commonwealth of Kentucky.

The Northern Kentucky Port Authority has announced that it has received the dollar-for-dollar matching funds for the Ohio River Bank Stabilization Project, a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers study and stabilization project that is considered necessary to the eventual construction of the $170 million Riverfront Commons.

Riverfront Commons would create a multi-use pedestrian pathway along the Ohio River that would connect residential and commercial locations, recreational opportunities, tourist attractions, and arts and cultural sites.

Last June, the project was merged with Vision 2015's Licking River Greenway and Trail, a multi-use trail that would extend along the Licking River from Riverfront Commons to Interstate 275. The merger is expected to improve both projects' chances of garnering state and federal funds.

Project promoters estimate that both projects could stimulate $1.5 billion in private investment and create 4,000 permanent jobs.

"Securing this grant is quite helpful to further develop the Riverfront Commons project," said Roger Peterman, chairman of the Northern Kentucky Port Authority, in a media release. "With Southbank's direction, we are off to a good start towards realizing our dream of a connected riverfront in Northern Kentucky."

Southbank Partners, which has been spearheading the project, provided assistance in securing the funding.

"We are so excited that the state of Kentucky recognizes that riverside stabilization and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' feasibility study are top priorities," said Southbank Partners President Jack Moreland. "This is yet another example of what can be accomplished by Northern Kentucky coming together for common goals."

Timelines for the stabilization project are still being developed.

The matching grant comes from the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet's Highway Construction Contingency Account and is included in its fiscal year 2011-2012 budget.

Previous reading on BC:
Riverfront Commons project receives $25K, closer to goal (6/18/09)
Public hearing seeks Licking Greenway ideas (1/21/09)