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$1.6 Million for Riverfront Work in Ludlow, Newport

$1.6 million is on the way to Newport and Ludlow.

The Ohio Kentucky Indiana Regional Council of Governments (OKI) allocated the funding for the next two phases of Riverfront Commons, the roughly 12-mile multipurpose path that will link the Northern Kentucky river cities from Ludlow in the west to Fort Thomas and the Combs-Hehl Bridge in the east.

The money will be used to build pedestrian bridges and walking paths along Riverfront Commons.

Southbank Partners assisted the cities in applying for the OKI funding.

“This is another positive step toward completing Riverfront Commons, a project that will transform the Southbank riverfront,” said Southbank Partners President Jack Moreland. “When you have cooperation and teamwork, you get things done. Southbank, OKI and the cities of Newport and Ludlow came together to make this happen, and Southbank and all six Southbank cities will continue to work with OKI, the State of Kentucky, the fiscal courts of Campbell and Kenton counties and others to see this tremendous project to completion.”

The $1.3 million Newport project includes walking bridges and a pathway that will improve connectivity from the flood wall to the Taylor-Southgate Bridge and improve access for walking across the Ohio River bridge, which connects Newport and Downtown Cincinnati.

“By partnering, Riverfront Commons will play a huge part in attracting development and creating jobs in Newport, in the other Southbank cities and all of Northern Kentucky,” said Newport Mayor Jerry Peluso. “This progressive movement will benefit many on both sides of the Ohio River for decades to come.

“Piece by piece, Riverfront Commons is coming together,. When completed, its economic impact will benefit future generations. Thanks to OKI and Southbank Partners for their vision and leadership on this very important project.”

The $300,000 Ludlow project will allow construction of a riverfront walking trail from the city park on Elm Street east to Kenner Street.

Ludlow Mayor Ken Wynn praised an interlocal agreement between the six Southbank cities and the fiscal courts of Campbell and Kenton Counties for fostering the relationships and focus that is leading to the development of Riverfront Commons.

“Riverfront Commons realizes our community’s dream of providing new walking and biking opportunities along the Ohio River and connecting with the other Southbank cities,” Wynn said. “I want to thank OKI for the funding and thank Southbank for making this project happen.”

The first phase of Riverfront Commons opened in June of 2014. It features a pedestrian bridge that connects Newport on the Levee and the Purple People Bridge to a walking path atop the Newport floodwall that runs east of the Levee to the I-471 bridge toward Bellevue.

Once completed, Riverfront Commons will make the south bank of the Ohio the most interesting walkway/bikeway in the mid-west. Riverfront Commons will seamlessly connect over the Purple People Bridge to trails in Cincinnati, to the Licking River Greenway in Northern Kentucky, and to Devou Park in Covington.

The 12-foot wide path will feature open park space at strategic points along the river, accommodating both walkers and bikers. A series of points of access, or nodes, will provide easy linkage to neighborhood, residential, business, entertainment and historic districts. The major benefits of the project are eco-system restoration, riverside stabilization, economic development and recreation.

-Staff report