Clevelanders Want Pretty Lights on New Inner Belt Bridge


1 comment


Presented with the myriad architectural and design options available for the new Inner Belt bridge, Clevelanders seem most concerned with whether or not the structure will be bright and sparkly.

ODOT and the city of Cleveland have been seeking input from the public on a few remaining details for the $287.4 million dollar span, which will begin construction in the spring.

Polling conducted on online asked for Clevelanders' input on abutments, underpasses, fencing, and lighting.

The last part drew heavy consideration from the some-600 respondents.

According to the PD:

Clevelanders want a new Inner Belt Bridge lit from the ground up, with the girders a pallette for a range of colors.

Red, maybe, to celebrate a Cleveland Indians' World Series win? Green for St. Patrick's Day? Orange for a Cleveland Browns' Super Bowl victory?

Lighting the 4,247-foot span is the "most dramatic" flourish of seven design elements to be decided, city Planning Director Bob Brown said at Thursday's meeting.


The public and a 35-member aesthetics committee so far favor lighting the bridge deck and massive supports in white and the underside with color-changing LED technology. Other, less favored options include not lighting the bridge supports at all, to give the bridge girders and deck the illusion of floating in darkness.

Shockingly, ODOT didn't even bother to consider Scene's unsolicited suggestions for the bridge, which included: 1) A giant sign that says, "It's just fucking snow, you can drive now,"; 2) Spring-loaded panels to catapult cars involved in accidents into the Cuyahoga; and 3) Fire-spewing gargoyle heads.

Their loss.

Results for the final design will be announced January 6 or 7.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Cleveland Scene. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Cleveland Scene, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at [email protected].

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club for as little as $5 a month.