Installation Of Cleveland's Wendy Park Bridge Begins
Installation began on the Wendy Park Bridge this week, bringing together more than two decades of planning and preparation to connect a once neglected and forgotten piece of Cleveland’s lakefront.
Cleveland Metroparks is installing the first two segments of the $6 million bridge over the Norfolk-Southern railroad tracks this week. The first piece was installed Tuesday, and the second began Wednesday. The full walkway is expected to be completed by June, said Metroparks Chief Planning and Design Officer Sean McDermott.
The bridge will provide an important connection to the Cleveland Foundation Centennial Lake Link Trail and the Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail, McDermott said, which will continue to Edgewater Park.
“We saw our lakefront first developed for industry,” McDermott said. “We’re trying to reconnect some of those natural connections that have been lost over time and better connecting our lakefront to our neighborhoods.”
The project site has been prepared with piers, abutments and approaches, McDermott said. The walkway will serve to increase accessibility and mobility between neighborhoods and recreation areas, McDermott said.
“It’s really a culmination of years of planning and partnership, and we’re really excited to bring what is by far one of the most important connections to unlocking our lakefront to fruition,” McDermott said.
The Wendy Park Bridge is part of a larger effort to connect trails throughout Greater Cleveland, McDermott said – a project with a total price tag of about $16 million. The effort relies heavily on federal funding through the Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) program, McDermott said, as well as from state and local foundations.
“Through this trail network, we can reconnect Cleveland and provide both mobility improvements to connect to recreation and assets along Lake Erie and also connect neighborhoods,” McDermott said.
This week’s Wendy Park Bridge construction is a result of more than 20 years of partnerships and planning with Cleveland nonprofits and the Metroparks, McDermott said.
“Wendy Park Bridge represents the grit of Clevelanders being able to continue to get things done, and the partnership behind those efforts,” McDermott said.