In light of N.J. Gov. Chris Christie’s decision last week to pull the plug on the new ARC tunnel for commuter rail to New York — a decision that he is now reportedly rethinking — we thought we’d bring you a glimpse of another big infrastructure project that was abandoned, this one back in 1925. Take a look at this trailer for a documentary about Cincinnati’s Abandoned Subway.
It’s the Cincinnati subway that never was, a planned 16-mile-long network of tunnels and stations that was meant to serve the city’s downtown. The project was discontinued because of construction problems, cost overruns, and a doubt about the real need for the service it would provide. Subsequent efforts to incorporate the two-mile section of tunnel that was completed into a modern rapid transit system have gone nowhere. And so the tunnel sits there, in fine shape, gathering graffiti.
Today, some people look at the decision to halt the subway as fatally short-sighted.
“If they had finished this system, we may have actually held on to some of our businesses that have left,” says one woman quoted in the film. “Cincinnati downtown may have been a viable institution.”
You can read more about how the Cincinnati subway project might have affected that city’s development at Cincinnati-Transit.net.
Hat tip to Clarence Eckerson of Streetfilms.