Cleveland, OH - Ohio Department of Transportation Director Jack Marchbanks, city of Cleveland Mayor Frank G. Jackson, and local stakeholders joined, on Wednesday, to celebrate the impending opening of the new Opportunity Corridor Blvd. specifically designed to revitalize the neighborhood. At one time, the area of Cleveland between I-490 and University Circle was known as the “Forgotten Triangle” due to the lack of economic activity.
The purpose of the Opportunity Corridor Project is to improve the transportation system and support planned economic development. To accomplish this a new boulevard has been constructed between I-490/E. 55th Street to E. 105th in University Circle. The new 35-mph boulevard-type road includes a 35-mph a median, traffic signals, new pedestrian and bicycle paths, tree lawns, landscaping and vehicular, pedestrian, and rail bridges.
"Transportation is about connecting people. This isn't just an investment in asphalt, concrete, and steel, this is an investment in people, business, and opportunity," said Gov. Mike DeWine. "The Opportunity Corridor will benefit these neighborhoods and better connect northeast Ohio with University Circle and all the resources available there."
ODOT committed to improving inclusion and exceeding goals for small and disadvantaged business on all three construction sections and succeeded! The department's unprecedented outreach effort was to spend 20% - $41.9 million - of all construction costs with new, small and disadvantaged business. As of September 30, more than $70 million of the $207 million construction costs have been spent with disadvantaged businesses.
"For too many years, these neighborhoods and those who call them home have been bypassed by opportunity. Now, we're bringing opportunity right to their front door. For a lot of residents, this opportunity is a career, not just a job," said ODOT Director Jack Marchbanks.
Development along the Opportunity Corridor Blvd. has already started with new businesses and existing businesses expanding. Nearly one-billion-dollars has been invested or is in development within a quarter mile of the boulevard in the last five years.
“The Opportunity Corridor gives us the opportunity to spur investments, jobs and real estate developments in neighborhoods where they otherwise wouldn't have happened,” said Cleveland Mayor Frank G. Jackson. “I want to thank Former Governor Kasich, Governor DeWine, ODOT and all our state and local partners for their dedication to this project and helping ensure that Cleveland contractors and local residents can participate in and benefit from its success.”
Opportunity Corridor Blvd. is expected to officially open to traffic late next week. Minor work will continue through June 2022 including striping, landscaping, bridge painting, minor asphalt work, and bridge work, which will require various lane restrictions.
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