While Cleveland waits for and endures through construction for the new Inner Belt Bridge, there are bound to be headaches. That's the cost of redoing the main artery through downtown. Just is.
There will be closures, detours, backups, and more than a few near-collisions. ODOT announced one of the first: the Carnegie Avenue exit on I-90 eastbound will be closed from sometime after July 4 for six months.
Midtown businesses are upset, according to the PD.
"I'm deeply concerned about the short notice," said Jim Haviland, executive director of MidTown Cleveland, Inc., a development nonprofit. "And we're concerned about the duration — nearly a half year — of the planned closure."
MidTown has already sued ODOT over its plans to permanently close ramps at Carnegie and Prospect avenues, as a future part of a multibillion-dollar makeover of the Inner Belt.
Closing Carnegie would disrupt traffic that feeds businesses large and small, including the Cleveland Clinic, MidTown said.
"It will give the public a view of what could happen if (Carnegie and Prospect ramps) permanently close up," said Donald Scipione, a Midtown businessman and a party in the federal lawsuit against ODOT. "We've always said closing those ramps would hurt business."
We get it. Carnegie, along with Chester, are the most viable outlets to the get to the east side. (We've always preferred Chester, but that's just us), but they're certainly not the only ones. Apparently MidTown reps believe the public is incapable of exiting on E. 22nd, or Prospect, or Chester, or Superior, and making their way to their destinations. Hell, even an 80-year-old grandma wouldn't need her GPS to go two blocks up, two blocks over, and two blocks south to get back on Carnegie. But maybe we're being too optimistic.
Central Cadillac, which resides right at the Carnegie exit ramp, is particularly worried. According to WTAM, owner Frank Porter claims 30% of his customers come off that exit. (Which leads us to wonder if perhaps a greater percentage is just taking the long fucking route to Central Cadillac, but that's beside the point.)
If he's worried about business, perhaps he can save some cash by laying off the guy he previously paid to count cars coming off the ramp do something instead.