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A different Cleveland awaits those returning for the 2018 Rock Hall inductions

Posted: 8:09 AM, Apr 12, 2018
Updated: 2019-04-01 15:03:51Z

It's human nature that before you host a party you tidy up the place and so with guests arriving in town ahead of Saturday's Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony there's a fair amount of touching up going on.

The most notable addition is in front of the Rock Hall itself where on Erieside Avenue, which stretches from East 9th Street to FirstEnergy Stadium just received a fresh coat of asphalt.

When the induction ceremony was last held in Cleveland in 2015 it wasn't as much the case because the city was very much in "pardon our dust" mode in a construction frenzy to get Public Square, several hotels and downtown roads ready in time for the Republican National Convention. This year Rock Hall goers get to savor the finished product.

The Rock Hall itself is also sporting changes of its own since the last Cleveland induction. The changes come as part of a multi-year, multi-million dollar upgrade that saw the Rock Boxes added down along East 9th Street. The "Long Live Rock" sculpture on the plaza outside looks to open the hall more up to the city.

The hall just unveiled many new features making use of the latest electronics to celebrate the inductees with new displays, floor-to-ceiling video screens, interactive presentations of fan-favorite inductee moments, an artist signature wall, directional audio, a real-time LED news ticker and an In Memoriam dedication.

The new floor also features the 2018 Inductee exhibit that shares stories about the impact and influence of this year’s class, which honors Bon Jovi, The Cars, Dire Straits, The Moody Blues, Nina Simone and Sister Rosetta Tharpe.

Behind the Rock Hall construction continues on the Harbor Verandas project, an upscale mixed-use building set to open this summer. Summer is also when plans are expected to be announced on a project that seeks to connect the Rock Hall and the Great Lakes Science Center with a series of shops and cafes along the water's edge that will provide cover in winter but can be open-air in the summer.

One project that hoped to be completed or at least in construction for this year is the long talked about pedestrian bridge linking the North Coast to the city's Malls over the highway and railroad tracks. In March of 2015, the city's Group Plan Commission that was overseeing the project opted not to try to rush it to get it done in time for the Republican National Convention in 2016.

Still no word from the Commission on when they plan to announce a design or timeframe for the project.