In 2002 the City of Cleveland initiated a comprehensive update of the City’s Master Plan in an effort to create a more accessible lakefront. The results, titled Connecting Cleveland: The Waterfront District Plan, identified the West Shoreway (now designated as Lakefront West) as the first transportation project to be addressed by the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) and the City of Cleveland. Additionally, the Governing Board of the Northeast Ohio Areawide Coordinating Agency (NOACA) has approved the Lakefront West Project for placement on Tier 1 of the Regional Transportation Improvement Plan (TIP) and the State of Ohio’s Transportation Review Advisory Council (TRAC) has approved funding for the Lakefront West Project.
The study corridor of the Lakefront West Project resides entirely in the City of Cleveland and runs along the existing alignment of Ohio State Route 2 from Clifton Boulevard on the west to the Main Avenue Bridge on the east. It is bounded on the south by the Norfolk Southern Railroad and on the north by various properties containing mostly public uses, including Edgewater Park, Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority’s bulk material terminals, City of Cleveland Garrett Morgan Water Treatment Plant, and the Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District’s westerly sewage treatment plant.
The existing corridor is limited access, and has westbound interchanges at W 25th Street (entrance)/W 28th Street (exit), W 49th Street (exit only), Edgewater Park (full interchange), Lake Blvd. (exit only), and ends with a signalized intersection at Clifton Blvd. Eastbound, the corridor begins from the intersection at Clifton and has interchanges at Lake Blvd. (entrance only), Edgewater Park (full interchange), W 45th Street (entrance/exit), and W 28th Street(entrance)/W 25th Street (exit). The study area includes the Community Development Corporations (CDCs) of Ohio City Near West, Flats Oxbow, Detroit Shoreway, and Cudell Edgewater and parts of City wards 4, 6, 12, and 17.
With stakeholder input, the Lakefront West Project advanced through ODOT’s Project Development Process (PDP). The PDP includes engineering and environmental studies to develop conceptual and feasible alternatives and ultimately identifies a preferred alternative. The preferred alternative must meet the general principals of the Lakefront Plan and satisfy project Purpose & Need. To do so, ODOT explored boulevard gateway concepts along the corridor and multi-model connections to the lakefront at the following locations:
- West Boulevard/Lake
- West 76th
- Edgewater Park
- West 73rd
- West 65th
- Norfolk and Southern Railroad over West Shoreway
- West 54th
- West 49th/West 45th
- West 28th, and West 25th
- Multi-use path/bike path