CLEVELAND — The Ohio Department of Transportation announced it has agreed to help the City of Cleveland fund planning and engineering work that is needed for a proposed land bridge project that is part of a plan to connect Downtown's Mall B to FirstEnergy Stadium.
ODOT awarded the City of Cleveland $2.5 million to help with planning and work needed for the land bridge that would connect Mall C, which has been cut off from the lake by the Shoreway, to the area of North Coast Harbor.
Renderings of the work commissioned by Cleveland Browns owners Jimmy and Dee Haslam have come up with a tree-lined land bridge sloping down to the stadium and Science Center.
“There is a long road ahead for a project of this magnitude. Still, it must start with a vision, which will be appropriately studied, vetted and modified based on input from community stakeholders,” the Haslams statement read in part, which was released with renderings in May.
Mayor Frank Jackson’s Office and Haslam Sports Group released a joint statement on ODOT’s funding:
“We appreciate the time ODOT has taken to review the City’s TRAC application for the lakefront vision. We have had productive conversations with ODOT and understand their funding recommendation today based on the preliminary stage of this project. ODOT has made it clear that they are supportive of the Mayor's vision and the feasibility work proposed as next steps for this endeavor that would help drive economic development for our city and the region. We continue to receive strong community support for the vision and will work with ODOT on potential alternative funding sources to match the City’s commitment to explore how best to properly and safely connect pedestrians and cyclists to our region’s greatest natural resource, Lake Erie.
"The awarded $2.5 million from ODOT coupled with the city’s funds will provide a significant $5 million to advance the planning and engineering work needed for the land bridge project. Now that funds have been committed, a scope for this phase of work will be developed. Once that scope is defined, the procurement process will commence. The procurement process and a project agreement with ODOT will now be finalized."
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