Why build the Opportunity Corridor?
The Cleveland Opportunity Corridor is a transportation and economic development project aimed at connecting I-490 to the University Circle neighborhood. The Opportunity Corridor encompasses nearly 1,000 acres on Cleveland’s southeast side and is anchored by University Circle and the Cleveland Clinic. The area between I-490 and University Circle has become known as the “Forgotten Triangle” due to the lack of economic activity. Outside of the transportation benefits it could bring to the Cleveland area, this effort opens the potential for new economic development, new jobs and a new identity for the community.
How will this project spur economic development and provide jobs for area residents?
The City of Cleveland and Greater Cleveland Partnership (GCP) are working together to develop an economic development plan for the project study area that supports Connecting Cleveland 2020 Citywide Plan. The proposed Opportunity Corridor would support these efforts through enhanced mobility, direct access to the freeways and the University Circle area, new frontage for potential development, improved visibility, and improved multi-modal access.
How long will the new roadway be?
The proposed boulevard will be approximately 3.6 miles long. Approximately 2.4 miles will be built where no roads exist now. Approximately 1.2 miles – the stretch from Quincy Avenue to Chester Avenue – will be built on existing East 105th Street.
How many lanes will be in each direction along the Boulevard?
The boulevard will have two westbound through-lanes, but the number of eastbound through-lanes will vary. The project includes three eastbound through-lanes between I-490 and Woodland Avenue. In general, the roadway will have two through-lanes between Woodland and Chester Avenue, but the roadway between Cedar Avenue and Euclid Avenue will include a third eastbound lane. Left-turn lanes will also be added at many of the intersections.
What happens to residents whose properties might be required for the road improvements?
The City of Cleveland and ODOT focused on avoiding and minimizing impacts to residential and business properties as much as possible. However private property will be needed to construct the project. State and Federal policies are in-place to protect the interests and rights of home and business owners affected by the project. In conformance with 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, displaced property owners and tenants would also receive relocation assistance. There are also provisions to ensure that decent, safe and sanitary comparable replacement housing is within the financial means of the displaced person. Property owners and tenants along the boulevard that are impacted can contact ODOT Real Estate Manager Mr. Dan Dougherty, P.E. at (216) 584-2130 Dan.Dougherty@dot.state.oh.us if they have any questions. Those impacted by the project have already been contacted by ODOT or its real estate consultants.
Would the proposed roadway incorporate environmentally friendly “green” features and other aesthetic elements?
Numerous design elements are being incorporated into the design of the project to minimize the project footprint. These include using minimum values for vehicular lane widths to reduce the amount of pavement surface; providing an extensive tree planting program within the treelawns and medians; use of grass and mulch medians; and use of high efficiency LED lighting and traffic signal fixtures. In addition ODOT is working with the Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District to reduce the amount of stormwater that enters the combined sewer system.
Will the Opportunity Corridor Project help facilitate multi-modal travel?
The preferred alternative for the Cleveland Opportunity Corridor project would build new facilities for pedestrians and bicycles to improve connectivity to public transit stations and stops. These include a walking/biking path on the south side of the roadway, a sidewalk on the north side, a pedestrian/bike bridge at E. 59th Street and a pedestrian/bike bridge at E. 89th Street. Furthermore, the preferred alternative would build new bridges over the Kingsbury Run Valley, the GCRTA Blue/Green Line and the NS rail line, which would further reduce barriers to public transit access.
In conjunction with the project, ODOT will fund 80-percent (up to $3.2 million) of a project to extend the platform and construct a new entrance to the existing GCRTA Quincy Avenue train station. This extended platform will provide a second ADA compliant access point from the east side of E. 105th Street.
Are traffic impacts being taken into consideration when developing the roadway? How will local businesses access the Boulevard?
The Opportunity Corridor is not a freeway. It will be a city street that will have intersections and traffic signals along its length. Local businesses and residents will be able to access the proposed roadway at these intersections, as well as at approved driveway Locations.
How will traffic be maintained during construction?
During construction of Section 1 – East 105th Street from Norman Avenue to Chester Avenue – traffic will be maintained, however temporary lane closures will be necessary. Section 2 – from E. 93rd Street to Norman Avenue; and Section 3 – from I-490 to E. 93rd Street will be built where no road exists today. During Section 2, East 105th Street between Quincy and Norman avenues will need to be closed for an extended period of time for bridge replacement work. Advanced notice and detour signage will be provided. Sections 2 and 3 are generally less disruptive to traffic, although access to certain intersecting streets may be restricted at times. In addition, construction of a new bridge at E. 55th Street is anticipated to require the temporary closing of I-490 at E. 55th Street during construction. Residents and motorists are encouraged to sign-up to receive project updates straight to their inbox here.