COVINGTON, Ky. – The City of Covington received a major financial boost to its long-planned riverfront development today.
Governor Steve Beshear and Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC) officials announced the award of $5.4 million in Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality (CMAQ) funds to improve safety and air quality in Northern Kentucky.
The largest of three CMAQ awards is $3.9 million to Covington for construction of a portion of walking and biking path along the Ohio River and several other upgrades that are part of the city’s Riverfront Commons project.
“This funding will allow us to implement the next major phase of Covington’s riverfront development plan,” said City Manager Larry Klein. “We are excited to join the cities of Cincinnati, Newport, Bellevue and Dayton, who have implemented significant and successful riverfront development in recent years that make our region a great experience for those who live work play and visit here.”
The Riverfront Commons project is one piece of a large scale project that spans the river cities in Northern Kentucky. Phase I of the project stretches from the Licking River to State Route 8 and includes roadway and riverbank stabilization and enhancements, biking and pedestrian paths, river access for water sports and activities, event and gathering areas, and lighting and electrical services.
“The benefits of this project are enormous,” said Assistant City Manager Larisa Sims, who wrote the grant application for the funding. “Not only does it offer healthy living benefits to our community but it will increase economic development along the riverfront and Covington’s connectivity to other river cities in Kentucky, as well as to downtown Cincinnati.”
The CMAQ award will directly fund construction of a portion of walking and biking path along the river, construction of a bulkhead and grading, an upper walk/bikeway along the base of the flood levee and at the base of Greenup Street, and walk/bikeway connections under the Roebling Bridge and at the Madison Avenue landing.
While the total project cost for Phase I is estimated at $10.45 million, Covington is working hard to fill the remaining funding gap. Besides the CMAQ funds, approximately $2.76 million is set aside in the city’s Capital Budget and several other grant applications are pending.
Mayor Sherry Carran added, “I cannot thank Governor Beshear and the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet enough for understanding the value of our Riverfront Commons Project and funding our CMAQ application. Governor Beshear’s support is a kick-start to the physical implementation of our Project but it is also an awesome boost the positive energy and solid growth we are experiencing in Covington and the Southbank Partnership of our river cities in Northern Kentucky. Our hope for the Riverfront Commons Project is that it will become a quality-of-life asset uniting us as a region of communities whose histories have been defined by their shared space along the Ohio River."