City Council Approves $10 Million for Pedestrian Bridge, Rounding Out $25-Million Bill


  • Rosales + Partners, Parsons Brinckerhoff
Last night, City Council fiiiiiinnally approved the Cleveland portion of the $25-million pedestrian bridge project financing package. County leaders had been expressing concern over the city's $10 million chip-in back in November, but it looks like we're all set on this RNC-tagged undertaking. 

Much like the Public Square redesign, the pedestrian bridge has long been hailed as a sort of red carpet infrastructure project for the big Republican party in 2016. Neither — and this really does need to be stressed in January 2015 — neither project has visibly begun in earnest.

County leaders publicly confirmed that, were Cleveland not to approve their funding by the first week of December (and they didn't), the project timeline would need to be crunched to get the work done in time for the RNC. That race against time — what one local bookie is now terming "Big Money" — should be fun to watch this year.

(Meantime, Hotel Cuyahoga is rising at a pretty good clip [one skeletal floor per week, according to project leaders]. That flagship Hilton hotel, built to literally become one with the Cleveland Convention Center and Global Center for Medical Mart Innovation, is the centerpiece of RNC regalia. You're paying for it, county peeps, so do take some time to enjoy the rooftop bar at the very least.)

ANYWAY. The Land Bridge o'er the Amtrak Line, by all accounts, is happening. Calls for the county to undertake a one-week pedestrian study have gone unheeded. Critical questions posed to the architect and to county legislators in November went unanswered. "What rationale was used?" one local activist asked at the time. He ended up just walking back to his seat amid silence.

Nevertheless, through funding hiccups and wryly ineffective public meetings, the pedestrian bridge is touted as a harbinger of Change, of the New Cleveland.

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