May 11, 2023 - News

Land bridge to the lakefront coming into focus

Image of script Cleveland sign with Rock Hall and Cleveland skyline in the background

Lakefront photo opp. Photo: Destination Cleveland/Courtesy of Erik Drost

As a Browns Stadium deal looms, Cleveland is revving up its lakefront planning.

Driving the news: City officials and private partners are hosting community visioning meetings this week to gather feedback on the North Coast Connector plan, which envisions a land bridge connecting downtown to the lakefront.

  • Also being discussed is the larger North Coast Master Plan, which will create a blueprint for broader lakefront development.

Why it matters: The Cleveland Shoreway creates a physical and psychological barrier between downtown and prime harbor amenities: Browns Stadium, Great Lakes Science Center, the Rock Hall and the lake itself.

  • Mayor Justin Bibb wants improved lakefront access to be a centerpiece of his legacy.

What they're saying: "For far too long, we've turned our backs on this incredible resource, which should serve as a source of pride and enjoyment for residents, as well as be accessible to people of all ages and abilities," Bibb said in a statement last year.

State of play: The project team has narrowed plans down to two land bridge options, they said at a Tuesday evening meeting.

  • One option is to construct a bridge over the existing Shoreway; the other is to construct a bridge over the Shoreway, while converting a stretch of the Shoreway into a boulevard, with slower speeds, multimodal infrastructure and commercial development.

By the numbers: Bibb has proposed spending $3 million in federal pandemic dollars on engineering and design work.

What's next: The final visioning meeting will be held virtually today at noon.


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