CINCINNATI — Cincinnati will sell its rail lines to Norfolk Southern, after voters there approved an issue on Tuesday's ballot. Some of the funding will pay for infrastructure improvement projects across the city. 

What You Need To Know

  • Cincinnati had leased the rail lines to Norfolk Southern, but now the plan is to sell them to the railroad for $1.6 billion

  •  The interest from the sale will go toward infrastructure improvements 

  • 40% of the budget will go toward streets and sidewalks 

Cincinnati had leased the rail lines to Norfolk Southern, but now the plan is to sell them to the railroad for $1.6 billion. Through the city’s Cincy on Track infrastructure plan, the money will be put into a trust where they expect it to create about $250 million of interest over the next 10 years.

In turn, that money would pay for upgrades across the city. $40.7 million will go for parks, $27.6 million for recreation, $101 million for streets and sidewalks, $49.6 million for public services and $31.1 million for health. Mount Echo Park in Cincinnati’s East Price Hill Neighborhood is on the list for improvements.

“There are issues, some interior issues,” Sheila Rosenthal, East Price Hill resident. “We had a lot of issues with plumbing here. And there are also there’s not been very much money spent here to add amenities.”

And as far as streets go, Rosenthal said there’s one street in her neighborhood that she would like to see improved. 

“Warsaw Avenue is one of the more dangerous streets in the city,” said Rosenthal. “We’ve had a number of pedestrian fatalities. We, as a community, have been working to get improvements on Warsaw Avenue, and we’ve been working on that for over a decade.”

The projects are expected to be finished over the next decade. But the only way Rosenthal believes real change will happen is if the community takes a stand together. 

“It’s going to be up to our community and the rest of the citizens of the city of Cincinnati to ensure that those funds are spent as they were meant to be spent,” she said.