Funding is coming together for a long-discussed pedestrian and bicycle bridge in downtown Cleveland. ideastream's Nick Castele reports Cuyahoga County Council will take its first look this week at putting money toward a design contract for the project.
The bridge would begin at the grassy mall in downtown Cleveland, extend across the Shoreway and railroad tracks, and connect to the lakefront near the Great Lakes Science Center and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Last week the county settled on engineering firm Parsons Brinckerhoff and architect Miguel Rosales to come up with a conceptual design. County Council gives a first reading to the contract this week.
Cuyahoga County public works director Bonnie Teeuwen says the county aims to have the bridge finished before the start of the 2016 Republican National Convention in Cleveland.
"We obviously want to put our best foot forward for the RNC. The connectivity between the downtown and the lakefront is an important image that we want to portray," she said. "The county is going to be pushing very hard to ensure that this project is going to be done."
The plan was once more ambitious. Teeuwen says it included a new parking structure -- but the city and county couldn't secure the federal funding they needed to pull it off.
At least $25 million dollars in tax money will be pledged to it -- with the city and county kicking in $10 million each, and the state putting up $5 million.
The county says the architect and engineering firm will soon be asking for public comment as they put together their designs.