Transit System Gets OK To Proceed With Development

CLEVELAND (AP) - The area's mass transit system received federal approval Thursday for a major development project.

Sen. Michael DeWine, R-Ohio, told the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority and city officials that a letter authorizing final design of the Euclid Corridor Transportation Project had been signed by Jennifer L. Dorn, administrator of the Federal Transit Administration.

The project is the largest capital improvement in Cleveland public transit history.

"We couldn't be happier," said Joe Calabrese, RTA general manager. "Final design aspects will start immediately."

About 60 percent of the money for the $220 million project will come from federal grants, with the remaining 40 percent from Ohio, the city and the transit system.

RTA hopes to start construction in early 2004. The project will continue to the end of 2006, when work should be complete. It will create bus-only lanes, and Euclid Avenue, downtown's major street, will be redesigned.

The 6.7-mile corridor will run from Public Square to a bus station in East Cleveland and will connect downtown and University circle, the city's two largest employment centers.

(Copyright 2002 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)