RTA shuts down Waterfront Line for estimated 24 months due to safety concerns

RTA shuts down Waterfront Line
RTA shuts down Waterfront Line(WOIO)
Published: Sep. 8, 2021 at 6:23 PM EDT|Updated: Sep. 14, 2021 at 11:44 PM EDT
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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - RTA service on the Waterfront Line has been suspended for an estimated 24 months due to safety concerns over the Waterfront Line Bridge while authorities make repairs.

On Tuesday, the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority presented a plan to shore up the bridge popular with Browns fans.

The Bridge is located on the East Bank of the Flats and extends over Front Street and the Norfolk Southern Rail tracks, according to a press release from the Regional Transit Authority.

RTA said during a routine inspection conducted in 2018, stress fractures were identified.

As a result, monitoring of the bridge began, and traffic was restricted (one train crossing at a time).

The cracks had gotten worse by the fall of 2020, according to the RTA’s emergency shoring plan.

The plan proposes the installation of four new temporary shoring towers to support the Bridge.

The shoring towers are estimated to cost $717,000, according to the plan.

The shoring towers would be a temporary fix.

A subsequent contract is proposed to rehabilitate and strengthen the structure,

Read the plan for the emergency shoring of the Waterfront Line bridge here:

Last October, service along the Waterfront Line was suspended due to a track rehabilitation project at Tower City.

This past summer, before the planned resumption of service, the bridge underwent an extensive inspection.

This inspection was conducted by Hardesty & Hanover.

Preliminary results released in August recommended four interim support towers be built to stabilize the bridge.

Additionally, the consultant advised service not be resumed until a permanent solution was designed and built.

Ruhlin Construction has been awarded an emergency contract to construct the towers, scheduled to be completed by late October 2021.

Hardesty & Hanover has begun design work on the permanent solution.

The time frame for the total rehabilitation of the bridge is approximately two years.

Six million dollars from RTA’s FTA federal formula grants have been budgeted for the project, according to the release.

For fans attending Brown’s home games this season, RTA will not be able to provide alternate service due to normal game-day congestion and street closures.

Fans riding the Red, Green, or Blue Lines to Tower City are directed to walk north on West 3rd Street to FirstEnergy Stadium.

The Waterfront Line was opened on July 10, 1996, designated as a legacy project for the City of Cleveland’s Bicentennial. The Line serves to link RTA’s Red, Blue, and Green Lines from Tower City to attractions along with the East Bank of the Flats and North Coast Harbor.

RTA apologizes for any inconvenience this closure may cause. However, the safety of our riders, staff, and the general public remains our top priority.

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