Construction Begins this Year on Opportunity Corridor Project in Cleveland

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The five-lane road project being called the Opportunity Corridor will eventually wind from the end of I-490 up to University Circle. Early phases of construction are just beginning along E 105th Street. The road's slated to be finished by 2019.

Ohio Department of Transportation Director Jerry Wray talked about the project with media and elected officials Monday at an event marking the start of the construction season.

"It's going to change the landscape, the transportation landscape in Cleveland, not for the short term, but for the long term," Wray said. "It's going to impact the lives of millions of people for decades to come."

Supporters of the road promise construction jobs for Cleveland residents. Minority contractors are expected to receive 20 percent of the work. ODOT will also acquire and demolish dozens of houses and commercial buildings along the route.

Angie Schmitt is a writer with the website Streetsblog. She's critical of the project, saying it's not friendly to pedestrians or transit riders.

"The folks around there are heavily dependent on transit and walking," Schmitt said, "so I think it's a little bit of an equity problem."

Total costs are estimated around $330 million, but Director Wray says attracting new development along the road is up to local groups and governments.

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