Cincinnati Streetcar Project
Gray & Pape, working with Parsons Brinckerhoff, provided archaeological and historic preservation services in support of the City of Cincinnati’s Streetcar Initiative. City leaders have identified streetcar transit as a potential tool for improving local circulation, supporting sustainable community and economic development, and complementing other components of the local and regional transportation system. The project will be partially funded by federal grants, administered through the Federal Transit Administration, requiring compliance with the Section 106 consultation process. The firm defined an Area of Potential Effects (APE) encompassing all parcels fronting the proposed streetcar routes. The APE is characterized by a dense, urban concentration of commercial and residential buildings located in Cincinnati’s Central Business District and the Over-the-Rhine neighborhood. In total, 32 resources within the APE are listed or recommended eligible for inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places. Gray & Pape applied the criteria of adverse effects to various elements comprising the permanent infrastructure of the proposed streetcar system (tracks, catenaries, stops, substations, and the car storage facility). The study concluded the effects associated with the proposed route would not alter any significant characteristics of these historic properties. The undertaking, including the streetcar tracks, overhead catenary poles, shelter stops, and substations, will have no adverse effect upon subsurface archaeological resources at these locations. Due to the nature and schedule of the project, a Memorandum of Agreement was developed between the Federal Transit Administration, the City of Cincinnati, and the Ohio Historic Preservation Office regarding coordination of detail design features associated with shelters, catenary poles, electrical substations, and the maintenance facility.