Visitors to Cleveland marvel at its beauty. Residents often take it for granted.
Make no mistake, Lake Erie is one of Cleveland's greatest and most underutilized assets. One big reason is the lakefront and existing attractions like the Rock Hall, Science Center, First Energy Stadium, and even a work-in-progress neighborhood project aren't that easy to get to.
The path to North Coast Harbor is paved with obstacles including the Shoreway, railroad and rapid tracks, and a 50-foot drop in elevation. That's why a pedestrian bridge linking Mall "C" by the Convention Center to the lakefront has always made so much sense.
The bridge offers more than a dramatic addition to the city skyline. It provides a practical solution to a decade-old dilemma: access to the lakefront.
The Group Planning Commission says the bridge is still on the agenda. This was supposed to be completed in time for the Republican National Convention. But now, it has no timeline.
The city, county, and state have committed $25 million to the bridge. Now, the estimated cost has ballooned to at least $33 million. Someone needs to come forward to "bridge" the funding gap.
In the past year, our civic and political leaders have turned vision into reality -- creating vital projects like Public Square and several new hotels. Now they need to "walk" the talk once again: finalize a design and "foot" the bill for the pedestrian bridge.
It's time to pick up the pace and get this thing done.
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