The Pedestrian Bridge project connecting downtown Cleveland to the lakefront has been delayed.
Cuyahoga County, the City of Cleveland, the Group Plan Commission, the Greater Cleveland Partnership, and Destination Cleveland today announced an adjusted process and schedule for the project.
In an effort to ensure the creation of an iconic structure with a cost-effective process, the partners will consider issuing a new Request for Proposal for the general contractor on the project.
The new process, decided upon after a detailed assessment of the construction needs of the project, is expected to change the completion date from June 2016 to a date in 2017.
Anthony J. Coyne, Chairman of the Group Plan Commission, noted that "with the transformation of Public Square underway, it is more important than ever to deliver a high quality connection between a revitalized downtown and the lakefront. We strongly agree that this vital project needs to be done the right way, not only for now but for future generations of Clevelanders."
"We have one opportunity to build an iconic structure to connect pedestrians and cyclists to the lake, and we are going to make sure that we get it absolutely right, both in how it looks and in how it is built, and without additional local public funds," said Cuyahoga County Executive Armond Budish.
"The Pedestrian Bridge is an important feature that, when completed, will provide pedestrians and cyclists another friendly link between downtown and the lake front and is a key component of my vision for Cleveland," said Mayor Frank Jackson.
Project partners will attempt to work within the original $25 million budget, which included $10 million each from the county and city, and $5 million from the State of Ohio. If the final budget exceeds this amount, no additional local public money is expected to be required.
"We are gratified by the remarkable amount of both public and private support to date for these important Cleveland projects," said Joe Roman, President and CEO of the Greater Cleveland Partnership. "Recognizing the possibility of a small additional need for the Pedestrian Bridge, our partners are committed to using best efforts to incorporate such an amount into ongoing fund raising efforts."
David Gilbert, President and CEO of Destination Cleveland, issued a statement in support of the adjusted schedule for the bridge project:
"Much like the Public Square project, the Pedestrian Bridge will be an iconic and important Cleveland landmark for decades to come. There is no other option but to create a bridge that meets our community's expectations. As we prepare to welcome RNC participants and visitors in 2016, we are excited about all that we have to offer, and we believe this iconic bridge-in-progress will be another sign of the momentum we are seeing in Greater Cleveland."