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ODOT Receives Federal Approval to Proceed with Innerbelt Project
Federal Highway Administration issues Record of Decision 

Cleveland (Friday, September 18, 2009) – The Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) and Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) have approved the Innerbelt Plan’s Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) and the plan has now been issued a “Record of Decision” by FHWA.

The Record of Decision completes the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) process and allows ODOT to move forward with the modernization of the Innerbelt freeway - including construction of a new westbound I-90 Innerbelt Bridge as well as flattening of the Innerbelt Curve and consolidation of ramps within the Innerbelt “Trench” – using federal funds and allowing for increased safety and smoother traffic flow into the heart of downtown Cleveland.

While the opportunity remains for continued dialog regarding future decisions - including the fate of ramps within the Innerbelt Trench – this federal approval allows ODOT to proceed with the State’s most pressing transportation concern, construction of a new westbound I-90 Innerbelt Bridge.

“I am overjoyed that we have reached this incredible milestone,” said ODOT District 12 Deputy Director Bonita G. Teeuwen, P.E.  “However, our work is only now beginning.”

Earlier this year, ODOT announced that it would direct stimulus dollars in order to quickly advance the construction of a new $400 million Innerbelt Bridge using the design-build process.  Design-build project delivery combines the design and construction of a project in one competitively-bid contract. This approach allows the state to capitalize on improved project timing, reduced costs, clear quality control and enhanced innovation opportunities.

Innerbelt Bridge Safety Plan:
While ODOT continues planning efforts of the new westbound I-90 Innerbelt Bridge, ODOT is also advancing the $10 million Innerbelt Bridge Safety Plan to ensure the safety of the existing Innerbelt Bridge.  When complete, repairs will allow for the reopening of the W. 14th Street ramp to I-90 eastbound – which has been closed since May of 2008 – and the Ontario Street ramp to I-90 westbound.

ODOT announced in August that, after detailed analysis and careful consideration, it would remove a 300,000 pound widened segment of the W. 14th Street ramp.  This work is anticipated to begin later this month and closed lanes and ramps on Downtown Cleveland’s Interstate 90 could open as early as the end of November.

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FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT THE ODOT DISTRICT 12 PUBLIC INFORMATION OFFICE:
Jocelynn Clemings 216.584.2006