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Eleven days after America entered World War I, Cincinnati voters gave their final approval to build a 16-mile, $6.1 million rapid-transit rail system above and below ground. The war put the project on hold. Work finally began with a ground-breaking ceremony on Jan. 28, 1920. By then, however, inflation had doubled prices of goods and materials.
During construction, a battle raged at City Hall: Seasongood's reformers versus the Cox machine. Seasongood won and eventually stopped work on the subway. He cited inflation and the failing fortunes of the interurban railroads that would be linked to the subway.
Seasongood noted that rising auto sales would reduce potential subway ridership. He failed to look further down the road to see a growing population with more cars, leading to traffic congestion and the need for a subway.