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Cleveland City Planning Commission Approves Innerbelt Bridge Aesthetic Details

CLEVELAND (Monday, January 10, 2011) – The Cleveland City Planning Commission on Friday approved the final aesthetic details of Cleveland’s new westbound I-90 Innerbelt Bridge. 

We are very excited to have this final approval and move forward with the construction of the new bridge,” said Innerbelt Project Manager Craig Hebebrand.  “We have been working with our stakeholders for years and it’s great to see these final details become a part of the plan.”  

Members of the public who visited the project Web site, or attended a December 15 public meeting, were polled on very specific elements – including pier treatments, fence and lighting options, retaining wall materials and more – in order to determine a public preference for each specific element.

Public preferences were then presented to the Project Stakeholder Committee, the City of Cleveland Flats-Downtown Design Review Committee and Cleveland City Planning Commission following the public meeting.  The recommendations of each committee fall in line with those of the public – with a few minor adjustments.

The team approved an updated pier design which includes additional grooves where the girders touch-down on the piers.  This allows the eye to make a stronger connection between the two elements.  While online voters favored heavy, metal display panels near the historic Western Reserve Fire Museum and Education Center overlooking the river valley, the Stakeholder Committee, those attending the Public Meeting and Cleveland commissions favored the more simplistic design which eliminates the metal displays and provides a clearer view of the river valley. 

Stakeholders and commission members also suggested changes along the new extension of E. 9th Street.  The team asked that the same fence and parapet pattern as is proposed on the Carnegie Avenue bridge over the GCRTA Rapid Transit line be used along the new E. 9th Street extension as well.  Among other details, the bodies also asked that ODOT consider historic lighting fixtures along heavily traveled pedestrian routes in both the Tremont and Gateway neighborhoods. 

ODOT’s final decision on these comments will be made within the coming months.  

Stakeholder groups, which include prominent local advocates, have met numerous times since the spring of 2006 in order to prescribe important aesthetic elements of the new bridge including scenic overlooks, open railings, new streetscapes and revamped overpasses and ramps.  The project also includes removing a portion of the Tremont bluff to increase stability and open additional green space adjacent to the river below. 

In September, the project was awarded to Walsh Construction and designer HNTB Ohio Inc. for a total bid amount of $287.4 million.  Using the unique design-build process in which the design and construction of the project are combined in a single contract, the team will complete substantial construction of the new westbound bridge during the fall of 2013 nearly a year earlier than originally anticipated. 

Construction is expected to begin this spring.  Log-on to Innerbelt.org for more information.

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For more information contact:
ODOT District 12 Communications Office at (216) 584-2006 or email D12.PublicInformation@dot.state.oh.us