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Cleveland officially bestows Sidaway Bridge with landmark status

Sidaway Bridge.jpg
Posted at 9:15 PM, Feb 13, 2023

There is hope on the horizon for Sidaway Bridge—Cleveland's one and only suspension bridge that has sat abandoned for five decades since it was set on fire in the Hough Riots during the civil rights movement.

On Monday night, Cleveland City Council officially made the bridge a landmark.

It's something Cleveland Mayor Justin Bibb, Ward 5 Councilman Richard Starr—whose ward the bridge is located in—and several community organizations have been working towards since News 5 first reported on the structure's historic significance in 2020.

RELATED: Cleveland city officials want long-neglected Sidaway Bridge designated as historic landmark

Cleveland officials want Sidaway Bridge designated as historic landmark

The bridge was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in October 2022.

The city's decision to give the bridge landmark status—and the fact that it is already on the National Historic Registry—will help officials secure funding for its restoration and the area surrounding it.

"So, being able to have it get those historic recognitions and get put on the list—that means it is now eligible to be able to get grants and get some support to keep the bridge up and alive," Starr said.

Starr said that as projects move forward regarding renovation, nearby residents will have an opportunity to provide feedback and give their input to city officials.

The Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority will also be part of the talks since the area below—Kingsbury Run—is now part of RTA's property.

There have been talks of converting the valley into a green space for residents and visitors to enjoy.

The green space and renovation of the bridge is something Starr said he hopes will drive further economic development in that area and along the Opportunity Corridor.

"I envision possibly job opportunities over there and people from both neighborhoods being able to walk across the bridge to get to work—also having...the accessibility to have some different development to make it more family oriented throughout. Meaning there could be some different greenery, greenspace, locations around the bridge that could be really—really a good place for us to be able to do some things and not just make it a 'hey, we did a project with a bridge,''' Starr said.

RELATED: Sidaway Bridge once connected Black and white neighborhoods. Now it connects us to the past.

For half a century, the Sidaway Bridge has been a solemn reminder of Cleveland's segregated history. You can watch more about its cultural and historical significance in the player below:

This bridge has a story to tell

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