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Innerbelt Plan clears hurdle

Marc Lefkowitz  |  11/14/07 @ 5:29pm

Last month, Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson blessed ODOT's Innerbelt Plan, helping it clear a big hurdle.

Along the way, public participation has been robust. Cuyahoga County Planning Commission's vision for a new, southern alignment and signature design for the Central Viaduct Bridge received an outpouring of support.

The city and ODOT did not pursue the southern alignment, but they did select a design team that includes a designer of Boston's beautiful Bunker Hill Bridge (see photo above). And it spurred the creation of an Innerbelt Bridge sub-committee that will advise on the design of the bridge.

Jackson's approval moves the plan forward, but a number of downtown Cleveland business groups still oppose the closing of ramps at Carnegie and Prospect avenues in the Innerbelt 'trench'. They argue the closings contradict a goal of the Innerbelt Plan to improve economic development in the city. The groups - led by Downtown Cleveland Alliance and Midtown Cleveland - are still pursuing an independent study on the impact of closing the downtown ramps.

But, with the city's approval, the plan is a step closer to reality.

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