A New Freight Plan
OKI began creating a new Freight Plan in 2021. To be completed in two phases during Fiscal Years 2022 and 2023, the first one is being conducted entirely in-house by OKI’s staff. The focus was to identify and amass critical datasets needed for a comprehensive, multimodal approach.
Safety, infrastructure, mobility, environmental, and economic data across all five freight modes (road, rail, river, runway, and pipeline) were gathered in phase one: https://freight.oki.org/.
Another America Marine Highway Grant Application
OKI endorsed a third successful America Marine Highway (AMH) grant application under our M-70 Barge Service in the Ports of Cincinnati, Northern Kentucky and Beyond Project Designation. Nucor Corporation was awarded $1,408,000 to buy a gantry crane for a new marine terminal that will be built at their Gallatin plant.
The new crane’s ability to lift 70 tons will enable the transport of steel products by barge rather than by trucks to meet market demand. The new crane and marine terminal are necessary due to Nucor’s doubling in steel coil production since January 2020.
Awarded CRISI grants
OKI’s role as grantee of two 2020-awarded Federal Rail Administration (FRA) Consolidated Rail Infrastructure and Safety Improvements (CRISI) grants, which totaled $2.3 million in new federal funding for the region, commenced in earnest during 2021.
OKI also signed the FRA Grant Agreement for Cincinnati Bulk Terminals (CBT)’s CRISI project. Efforts for the better part of the year were focused on meeting FRA requirements for Final Design approval, which was received last year on Oct. 12.
By the end of 2021, OKI had managed CBT’s purchase of a new material handler; the selection of professional services for the equipment’s installation; and release of multiple requests for proposals and qualifications, as part of the public procurement process for the overhead conveyor system.
For Benchmark River and Rail Terminals (Benchmark) CRISI project, 2021 concentrated on meeting FRA requirements for preliminary engineering. OKI received FRA approval for our CRISI Railroad Agreements. Following OKI’s request for qualifications process, Benchmark selected AECOM to coordinate with the railroads and City of Cincinnati to deliver preliminary engineering and final design for the new traffic signal and safety improvements, including train preemption at three private rail grade crossings.
Other OKI Annual Report Highlights
OKI Continues Improving Public Participation, Community Outreach
OKI seeks new ways to engage the region through public meetings, workshops, surveys, social media, and other forums. For example, many of our events have moved online to include hybrid and virtual options.
OKI Aids Clean Air, RideShare, Bike & Pedestrian Trails
Viable bicycle and pedestrian trails, RideShare programs and clean air initiatives are critical to the health and welfare of a region. OKI continues to fund these important amenities because we know our region's 2 million residents value them as much as OKI does.
OKI’s Strategic Regional Policy Plan a Tool for Consistent Development
This plan’s policy recommendations help inform and guide local decision makers. They are based on regional trends in population change, increasing costs of public services, while incorporating environmental health and a better quality of life.