CLEVELAND — Since Voinovich Bicentennial Park opened in 1988 there has been a missing piece connecting the Great Lakes Science Center to the park itself. On this day the link was completed. Outgoing Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson helped to cut the ribbon on this $12.3 million pedestrian bridge completing the harbor loop.
"This is an iconic bridge, for an iconic city, on an iconic harbor,” said NOACA Executive Director Grace Galucci whose organization helped provide some of the funding.
It's a bridge that was first proposed nearly two decades ago during the Jane Campbell administration. In fact, so long had this span been in the works that it had to be raised two feet to accommodate the rise in Lake Erie's water levels in that time.
For Goodtime III owner Rick Fryan it's a welcome addition. "We've been down here through all of the growing pains,” said Fryan. “And the future, the possibilities are endless."
And they look to come at a quicker pace. It was a year ago this week that the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame unveiled its $100 million expansion. Groundbreaking is set for this summer on the project that will include room for the museum to grow and more.
"Our expansion is going to activate the lakefront even more,” Rock Hall President and CEO Greg Harris told News 5 earlier this year. “We're building things that aren't just for museum visitors they're for community activists and community activity."
Also moving forward is the Haslam Sports Groups vision for a land bridge over the Shoreway. ODOT joining the city this summer in providing the $5 million to get the planning and engineering started.
"Not just a pedestrian bridge but a land bridge,” said Jackson. “A land bridge that will be green space that will encapsulate the freeway and the railroad tracks so that people can just traverse it like they traverse the malls."
There's also the blank canvas that is the former Port land north of First Energy Stadium where the NFL Draft was held. Projects that look to shape the future of the city that Jackson said he looks forward to watching happen, from a distance.
"I look forward to retirement yes."