In September of 2020, crews installed the pedestrian bridge spanning Literary Rd. connecting the northern end of stage 3 to the southern end of stage 4 via University Rd. Brush and weed overgrowth have been removed along University Rd. providing sweeping views of Cleveland and the Cuyahoga River Valley.
Stage 4 of the Towpath Trail Extension runs 1.5 miles from Literary Rd. to Canal Basin Park in Downtown Cleveland’s Flats. Bidding on stage 4 closed in April 2019 and Cuyahoga County’s Department of Public Works selected Independence Excavating, Inc. for the proposed $8.9 million contract.
Check out the time-lapse vid of the Literary Rd. Bridge install!
Part of the stage 4 project was the addition of historical elements to the greenspace at the corner of University Rd. and W. 10th to commemorate Camp Cleveland’s historical significance. Camp Cleveland was the largest of Cleveland’s six Civil War training camps for the Union. More on Camp Cleveland is at Cleveland Historical’s website.
The multi-purpose trail along Carter Rd. is now in place and the roundabout from the Carter Rd. Bridge into Canal Basin Park is nearing completion. The transformation of this space from a forgotten, weed choked ditch bordered by parking lots to the initial stage of an interpretive greenspace is an exciting step forward for downtown Cleveland.
In September 2016, ODOT opened the second of the twin Innerbelt Bridges, now known as the George V. Voinovich Bridge, reinstalling I-90/I-71 as a hassle-free route in-and-out of downtown Cleveland.
There has traditionally been an undeniable downside to this type of highway infrastructure, and the steep price was usually paid by the surrounding neighborhood. Under normal conditions, ten lanes of high-speed, limited access roadway functions as an ad hoc and contextless divide, cleaving the neighborhood from its surroundings. Major highway infrastructure interrupts pedestrian access, and the structure itself becomes a target for graffiti and litter.
ODOT and its lead consultant C|S|S were very responsive to these concerns. Instead of designing an intimidating and inaccessible goliath, the design team integrated the project into the fabric of Tremont. Along with the basic transportation benefits, the project now provides northern Tremont with parkspace, urban farming opportunities, and a piece of the Towpath Trail.
This section of trail now connects northern Tremont to the Flats, and includes many world-class design features like dramatic overlooks and innovative reuses of demolished bridge materials.
In the summer of 2014, Scranton Flats, a section of Towpath Trail at the northern end of Stage 4 opened in Cleveland. Scranton Flats gives users a taste of what is to come for the Towpath Trail Extension Project. Learn more here