Pedestrian Bridge will not be ready by Republican National Convention

Posted at 3:26 PM, Mar 17, 2015
and last updated 2016-06-14 16:02:10-04

The Pedestrian Bridge project will not be completed in time for the Republican National Convention, Cleveland officials announced on Tuesday.

In a release from the Pedestrian Bridge Partners - which consist of Cuyahoga County, the City of Cleveland, the Group Plan Commission, the Greater Cleveland Partnership and Destination Cleveland - it was announced the bridge completion date has been pushed from June 2016 to 2017.

The pedestrian bridge will connect the new Cleveland Convention Center and the malls to the lakefront.

"We have one chance to get this right, we have one chance to build the kind of bridge the kind of connection we've always wanted for this generation of Clevelanders and for future generations of Clevelanders so it was a clear call," said Group Plan Commission Executive Director Jeremy Paris.

Paris said they looked at the statement they wanted to make with the bridge and the cost and hurdles associated with completing it in 16 months. "We realized we could not build the kind of iconic bridge, this wonderful connection between the downtown and the lakefront in the timing, to make the timing by the RNC."

In September 2014, the City of Cleveland approved ordinances paving the path for the construction of the bridge. 

The original $25 million budget, which included $10 million each from the county and city, and $5 million from the State of Ohio, is expected to remain intact, according to officials.  

If the final budget exceeds $25 million, the Pedestrian Bridge Partners said, “no additional local public money is expected to be required.”

Paris said it's a decision that all parties involved feel comfortable with making. "When I'm out and talking to people about this project... they always say to me 'don't do the second class thing. We don't want this to be something that doesn't live up to our expectations, we don't want a disappointment and we're not going to do that."

While the pedestrian bridge has been delayed Paris made it clear the Plan's other project Public Square will be ready.

"We absolutely will be complete with Public Square by June of 2016 in time for the convention," Paris said.

"If you look at Public Square it's in the heart of the convention district and area. It's one of those projects you cannot start without being confident you can finish, we're confident we can finish."


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