Cleveland highway project tab: $340 million to $1.2 billion

CLEVELAND (AP) - Rebuilding the interstate highways that thread through the downtown area could cost $340 million to $1.2 billion, a consultant said.
Four plans for rebuilding Interstates 71, 77 and 90 in the
downtown area were analyzed by Burgess & Niple for the Ohio
Department of Transportation. The plans were publicly outlined Thursday.
If funding is approved, construction would not begin until 2008 at the earliest. The project could take 10 years to finish.
The cheapest plan would be a simple reconstruction, with two lanes of traffic kept open in both directions.
The most expensive proposal calls for easing a sharp curve along Interstate 90 near Burke Lakefront Airport, extending a commuter rail line and adding a fifth highway lane in each direction on the I-90 bridge.
One proposal would reduce the number of interstate entrance and exit ramps in the downtown area.
"We have so many access points that people are tripping over each other trying to get on and off the freeway," said Craig Hebebrand, project manager for the highway agency.
The rail plan calls for extending the Waterfront train line to complete a downtown loop.
(Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)