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Mayor Bibb proposes legislation to (finally) remove jersey barriers in Cleveland's Public Square

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Posted at 11:19 AM, Mar 04, 2022

CLEVELAND — Cleveland Mayor Justin Bibb is moving forward with legislation that would authorize the removal of the "temporary" concrete jersey barriers that have been a longtime eyesore in the middle of the city’s Public Square.

The legislation would provide up to $1.5 million in funding from the capital budget for the removal of the barriers and replace them with modern and removable bollards.

“Public Square should be the people’s park but for too long, jersey barriers have got in the way. Today, my administration is taking the first step towards removing these barriers and restoring Public Square to its original intent – to serve as a meeting place in the heart of our city,” Bibb said in a release Friday.

The replacement of the eye-catching (for all the wrong reasons) concrete jersey barriers with the bollards would allow for the ability to open and close the square for public events.

Ward 3 Councilman Kerry McCormack praised Bibb’s proposal.

“I applaud the Mayor for taking quick and decisive action to remove the jersey barriers from Public Square. These unnecessary and intrusive barriers have compromised the beauty and function of the people’s square. This legislation will ensure our Public Square thrives as a welcoming place for all Clevelanders for many years to come,” said McCormack.

According to Bibb’s administration, the total cost to remove the barriers is $3 million. Aside from city funds, the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority will consider an investment.

Since the Group Project Commission held the original contract for the design, construction and reconstruction of Public Square in 2015, it will stay involved and authorize the redesign upon approval from city council.

The commission is responsible for delivering the project and consists of the original architects, engineers, project managers and contractors who have prior knowledge and understanding of the complexities of constructing permanent barriers. The removal of the barriers will take expert precision so as to not damage the utilities below the surface.

”Group Plan Commission applauds Mayor Justin Bibb’s expedient introduction of legislation to improve the safety, security and aesthetics in Public Square by removing the jersey barriers in Superior Avenue and planters at the corner entryways into Public Square with an attractive, removable bollard system,” said Group Plan Commission Chairperson Tony Coyne.

The legislation awaits approval from city council.

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