• What
  • Where
  • Who

The City of Cincinnati is opening a community conversation to identify what decks over Fort Washington Way will be -- anything from a commercial or mixed retail corridor, to an open public space for recreation and art.

To facilitate this process, the City is inviting public input and is hosting a national, open competition for architecture, engineering and landscape design professionals to design the decks and structural features that will cover the area over Fort Washington Way.

When Fort Washington Way was remodeled more than a decade ago, the gap between downtown and the riverfront was narrowed, but not eliminated.

During that renovation, pilings were placed in the ground with the intention of one day using them as supports for an elevated surface to be constructed over the highway.

The decks will cover the recessed highway, at street level between Second and Third Streets, bookended by Elm Street to the west and Main Street to the east. Successful completion of decks will connect Cincinnati’s Central Business District to the Central Riverfront.

The City of Cincinnati is organizing this competition.

Mark McKillip (Architect, and former Principal Architect of the City of Cincinnati), is the professional advisor.

John Deatrick (Project Executive of The Banks Development and former Director of the City’s Department of Transportation and Engineering) is the technical advisor.

The design evaluation committee, appointed by the City Manager, will consist of architecture design professionals including members of the Urban Design Review Board.

The City are also seeking the assistance of non-profit organizations to act as project partners and business leaders to act as civic advocates.

Competition Process

Definition Of The Program

The City will request input from the community to clarify a vision for the decks- the desired uses and urban design objectives of the area.

Call For Entries

A nationwide request for architecture, engineering and landscape design professionals to submit design proposals for decks over Fort Washington Way.

Initial Review Of Design Proposals

The evaluation committee will review all submissions for feasibility and adherence to the competition program guidelines and requirements.

Technical Review

Once the evaluation committee narrows the submissions to approximately 10-15 top design entries, technical professionals with the City will review the entries to identify any technical issues or concerns about the submitted designs.

Selection Of Finalists

Between three and five finalist designs will be selected by the evaluation committee. The finalist designs will each receive a stipend, targeted to be $50,000 each. Funding of the stipends is to be raised from private sources. Those designs will be submitted to the FHWA, ODOT, Hamilton County , as well as City government officials, for review and comment. Finalists will then use the stipend to further develop their designs and will submit their final, complete designs, including estimated project cost.

Public Review & Comment

The three to five final designs will be exhibited for public input.

Selection Of Winning Design

The evaluation committee will take all input into consideration and will select a winning design. That selection will be shared with City administration, City Council and the Mayor and will be made public.

Next Step

The winning design will bring to focus Cincinnati’s vision for the decks, helping move the vision toward reality.