Sen. Portman tours riverfront park

Rob Portman, right, tours the Phyllis W. Smale Park
Rob Portman, right, tours the Phyllis W. Smale Park

Sen. Rob Portman toured Phase 1 of the construction of the Phyllis W. Smale Riverfront Park on Monday.

The new 45-acre destination park, formerly known as Cincinnati Riverfront Park, is now under construction between Paul Brown Stadium and Great American Ball Park. Construction began in 2008.

Sen. Portman, who requested the site tour, had a significant role in the early days of federal funding of the park as a congressman. During fiscal year 2004, he obtained an authorization in the Energy and WAter Appropriations for planning/engineering and design. This allowed the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to count non-federal dollars in planning and design  toward the non-federal cost-sharing requirement.

In 2012, the Cincinnati Park Board is seeking $4.5 million in Corps funding and an expansion of the 2007 Water Resources Development Act authorization from $30 million to $80 million.

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