The purpose of the Opportunity Corridor Project is to improve the transportation system and support planned economic development in the areas between I-490/I-77 and University Circle in Cleveland. The area between I-490 and University Circle includes a part of Cleveland known as the “Forgotten Triangle” due to the lack of economic activity. Aside from the transportation benefits it could bring to this part of Cleveland, this effort opens the potential for new economic development, new jobs and a new identity for the community.
There are three primary needs that have been identified by the Opportunity Corridor study:
- Improving system linkage among the roads, neighborhoods and businesses in the area
- Improving mobility between the Interstate system and University Circle
- Supporting planned economic development
In 2004, ODOT retained a consultant team led by HNTB to conduct the Opportunity Corridor Study. ODOT and its engineering consultants at HNTB continue to meet with various partners at the City of Cleveland, Greater Cleveland Partnership (GCP) and community stakeholders.
An Opportunity Corridor Steering Committee was formed which includes representatives from ODOT, the City of Cleveland, Cuyahoga County, GCP, area Community Development Corporations (CDC), Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority, Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District, residents, business owners and other local stakeholders.
In working with local stakeholders and public officials, the purpose of the project was developed. The purpose is to improve the roadway network within a historically underserved, economically depressed area within the City of Cleveland.
The project is following a 14-step process that outlines project development from concept through completion.
In July 2011, the Steering Committee identified the Recommended Preferred Alternative based on input gathered from the City of Cleveland, CDCs, neighborhood stakeholders and the general public. The Recommended Preferred Alternative would build a 35-mph boulevard-type road with a median and traffic signals. It would also include new pedestrian and bicycle paths, tree lawns, landscaping and vehicular, pedestrian, and rail bridges. The project details and impacts were formally presented and discussed at an October 2013 Public Hearing.
Community Benefits Area
A development work group comprised of public, private, CDC representatives and neighborhood stakeholders, facilitated by GCP, have worked together with a local architectural firm and identified eight to ten potential development sites throughout the community benefit area of the project for future re-use. To date, two of the development districts have preliminary master land use plans. The conceptual roadway plans have been reviewed with each of the CDC partners for feedback to determine that the effort is moving in the right direction and remains consistent with the community’s overall master plan and the City of Cleveland proposed land use plan.
During the NEPA process it was determined that the city had a master plan for the Kenneth L. Johnson Recreation Center, which is along the Opportunity Corridor. The preferred alignment of the Opportunity Corridor was adjusted to mitigate impacts to the neighborhood and recreation center plans. The project has committed $500,000 to the Kenneth L. Johnson Recreation Center expansion plans.
Through the public involvement process residents of the area expressed the need for jobs and job training so those living in the community could work on the project. The project has committed $500,000 to Ohio Means Jobs (OMJ) for on-the-job training. OMJ began their Opportunity Corridor focused services in November 2014. You can check out the latest statistics on how many individuals have been supported through this program here.
In addition to this commitment there will be 8,500 hours of on-the-job training in Section 1 in construction, 10,000 hours of on-the-job training in Section 2 in design and/or construction and 30,000 hours of on-the-job training in Section 3 with 10,000 hours for professional OJT and 20,000 for blue collar OJT for residents in Cleveland Wards 4, 5 or 6. There are two “community ambassadors” hired to reach out to the community and identify and assist those who are interested in job training. Finally, all sections have a 20 percent Cleveland resident workforce project requirement. To view the most recent Opportunity Corridor Diversity Update click here.
Permanent Land – Acres (City Owned)
Potential Hazardous Material Sites
Park and Recreation Sites*
Residential Structures (Relocations)**
Commercial Business Structures (Relocations)**
**Building impact summary from Fall 2012 field inventory
*Park impact is temporary
Right of Way Acquisition
Right of Way Acquisition is the purchasing of land and relocation of occupants required for roadway construction.
According to the Uniform Relocation Assistance and Real Property Acquisition Policies Act (Uniform Act), in addition to receiving just compensation for any property acquired to construct the project and relocation assistance for the displaced property owners and tenants. There are also provisions to ensure that decent, safe and sanitary comparable replacement housing is within the financial means of the displaced person.
For relocations, ODOT will follow the requirements of the Uniform Act as well as other standard ODOT policies and procedures. In general, the relocation process will include the following:
- ODOT will determine the fair market value of the property, which is the amount of money a property will bring if offered for sale on the open market.
- Simultaneous with appraisal preparation, ODOT will research the local housing market and find suitable decent, safe and sanitary comparable dwellings for sale (owner-occupants) and/or rent (tenants) and calculate the displaced person’s replacement housing offer.
- ODOT will present a written offer based on the fair market value.
- ODOT will make a replacement housing payment offer to all residential owner-occupants and will make a replacement housing payment offer to all residential tenant-occupants within seven days of the owner’s acquisition offer.
- The impacted party will be able to negotiate a final settlement with ODOT.
- The displaced person will be counseled by ODOT on various move and relocation options and assisted throughout the process of selecting and renting or purchasing a replacement dwelling.
- At this same time, the displaced person will be assisted as they make their decision on how to conduct and be paid for their move (contract move, self-move or combination).
- There will be a "closing" phase in which ODOT will formally buy the property and file all the paperwork.
- Simultaneous with the closing, ODOT will process the displaced person’s final replacement housing payment, applicable incidental closing cost payments, increased interest payments and moving cost payments and ensure they successfully move to their new replacement dwelling.
ODOT will pay for all closing costs normally paid by the residential owner-occupant in the purchase of their replacement dwelling. ODOT will also pay for all moving expenses of anyone displaced by the project. This would include full costs associated with packing, unpacking, assembling, disassembling, reconnection fees for certain utilities and services, full value replacement insurance, moving up to 50 miles and some short-term storage if necessary.
ODOT will implement a voluntary residential relocation program to allow some residents whose homes are not directly impacted by the project to be eligible for relocation assistance. Voluntary relocations will be offered assistance and benefits that match those provided to the required relocations.
The Federal Highway Administration approved the Environmental Impact Statement and issued a Record of Decision on May 1, 2014. This completes the environmental process. The Opportunity Corridor project has been divided into three construction sections:
- Section 1: East 105th Street from Quebec Avenue to north of Chester Avenue. Section 1 has been awarded to McTech Corp/Perk Company Inc., a joint venture for a bid amount of $20,969,780. Construction scheduled to to complete, Fall 2017.
- Section 2: New roadway from East 93rd St. to Quebec Ave. Value-Based Design-Build. Value-Based Design-Build contract was awarded to the Great Lakes Construction Company for a bid amount of $35,328,000. Construction schedule to be complete, Fall 2018.
- Section 3: New roadway from I-490/East 55th Street to East 93rd Street. Design-Build contract was awarded to the Kokosing Construction Company for a bid amount of $150,858,250. Construction scheduled to begin fall 2018.
To view additional aerial images of the Opportunity Corridor click here.
In April, 2013, the Federal Highway Administration coordinated a project Cost Estimate Review. Based on this review, the total cost of the project is estimated to be $331.3 million. The project estimate considers all currently known work required to build the project including the costs of final design, project administration and management, land acquisition, utility relocation, implementation of environmental commitments and mitigation measures, and construction activities.