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First pieces of 150-acre shoreline revitalization between East 55th and East 72nd coming online in 2021

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Posted at 8:00 AM, May 15, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-15 08:01:10-04

CLEVELAND — The full 150-acre Cleveland Harbor Eastern Embayment Resilience Study (CHEERS) project could take years to be completed, but the first, small steps towards a revitalized lakefront could start becoming a reality this summer.

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This multi-phase project would drastically change the lakefront over 15-20 years.

Cleveland Metroparks planners told a community town hall presenting the CHEERS draft plan that a new comfort station could open in May and water trails designed for paddling could open later in the summer.

The Isle, The Cove, and The Lakeshore

The larger project would drastically change how people can interact with the lake between the East 55th Marina and East 72nd Street.

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The lakefront right now has limited activity options for people looking to spend time near Lake Erie.

Three million cubic yards of dredge material will be used to build up the shoreline and create a 36-acre piece of land called “The Isle”. That would also create a cove between the Isle and a bolstered lakeshore that will protect the lakeshore and create a space for water activities without having to worry about waves from Lake Erie.

Marsh habitats, boat launches, and fishing areas will be connected by trail system, bathrooms, concession stands and even lawns that can host outdoor events.

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This plan was chosen from a wider set of options based off resident feedback about what is wanted along Lake Erie.

That much larger project would start with The Habitat Loop, a $12 - $15 million project the would create an extended green space that reaches into Lake Erie where The Cove will be created in the future.

Renderings show that multi-use trails will link the various parts of the new project to each other, even allowing people to reach The Cove.

Getting to the CHEERS area

One big challenge getting to the new project is I-90’s current location, separating location neighborhoods from the lakefront.

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Getting residents over I-90 and around the project area is a key goal for multi-use trails shown in this rendering.

The project draft plan hopes to increase bike infrastructure along both East 55th and East 72nd Streets, with full cycle-tracks and multi-use trails linking the communities along both streets to the water.

“We believe that this is God’s gift to the community and no one should be devoid of having that opportunity,” City of Cleveland Director of City Planning Freddy Collier told the town hall meeting.

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Proposed changes to East 55th and East 72nd Streets would make it easier for residents to safely get to Lake Erie.

“This project represents healing, healing that goes back as far as the great migration from the Jim Crow south looking for something better only to find segregation,” said Black Environmental Leaders’ SeMia Bray. “This project represents a true coming together of all peoples.”

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