|The Opportunity Corridor is finished between East 93rd Street|
and Chester Avenue. Construction is starting on the boulevard
between Interstate 490 and East 93rd (ODOT).
CLICK IMAGES TO ENLARGE
This week I took a tour of the completed portion of the Opportunity Corridor, a project whose side mission is to change land use and turn dirt in a part of the city where the dirt hasn’t been turned in a very long time.
Road construction started by widening East 105th Street to four lanes with a landscaped median between Chester Avenue and Quincy Avenue. Work in this area included replacing a straight bridge with a wider, curving span over the Norfolk Southern railroad tracks and Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority Red Line. Here, the rail station at East 105th-Quincy was expanded.
Then, the new boulevard extends southwest along the RTA Red Line to East 93rd Street. The next phase will link East 93rd to East 55th Street and finally to Interstate 490. That work is just getting underway.
|Burten, Bell, Carr Development Inc. plans a mixture of housing,|
light-industrial and agricultural uses north of the Kinsman Ave.-
East 79th intersection, at center-left. The RTA Green-Blue lines
curve through the middle- to upper-right of the image with the
Opportunity Corridor to the upper-right of it. This view also
looks northwesterly (BBC).
As you can see from the pictures below, the development signs and for-sale signs are already starting to pop up along the roadway. The city and the three community development corporations along the route have their land use plans. But property owners have their own ideas. How this road project will be able to “leverage the boomtown” that is University Circle for the benefit of nearby neighborhoods is still a work in progress.
So will the Opportunity Corridor be lined with gas stations and convenience stores? Or with biomedical labs and advanced manufacturing? Or with scrap processors and aggregates dealers? Or with light-industrial/warehousing? Or with townhouses surrounding apartment towers over retail near the Red Line stations?
What future will this $350 million investment by the Ohio Department of Transportation bring to this forgotten part of Cleveland? The following views are the “before” images. The “after” images will be interesting to see in the coming years and decades.
|Remnants of once-crowded neighborhoods surround University|
Circle, often within sight of it. Plans are afoot to “reboot” those
neighborhoods, including with affordable housing (KJP).
|The area surrounding the East 105th-Quincy intersection where|
the entirely new section of roadway of the Opportunity Corridor
begins. This view looks northeastward (KJP).
|The Opportunity Corridor is going to be an opportunity for|
someone. Whether it is an opportunity for those who need it
most will take more effort than just putting up a sign (KJP).