Mar 15, 2024 - News

Detroit-Superior Bridge underpass closer to "Low Line" vision with federal grant

A black and white image of a streetcar traveling under a suspension bridge.

A streetcar travels under the Detroit-Superior Bridge in 1939. Photo: Cleveland Memory Project

The lower level of Cleveland's Detroit-Superior Bridge, once used for streetcars, could reopen as a multimodal path for bikes and pedestrians and as a venue for events.

Why it matters: The envisioned pathway aligns with what advocates have been demanding as the city and county work to improve pedestrian safety — multimodal facilities that are fully separated from vehicular traffic.

State of play: The U.S. Department of Transportation awarded Cuyahoga County $7 million from its new Reconnecting Communities and Neighborhoods grant program to reimagine the underside of the historic bridge, where streetcars operated from 1918 to 1954.

Zoom in: The DOT funding encompasses both a feasibility study and an engineering plan, but not actual construction.

Catch up quick: Cuyahoga County Executive Chris Ronayne has been trumpeting the potential of the bridge since he took office last year, floating the idea of the "Low Line" — Cleveland's answer to New York's "High Line. "

Flashback: When the Detroit-Superior Bridge opened in 1918, it was the world's largest double-deck concrete structure.

  • The 3,100-foot-long bridge was Cleveland's first fixed, high-level bridge and, by 1930, the nation's busiest.
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