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ODOT, Local Officials join as Opportunity Corridor nears opening
ODOT, Local Officials join as Opportunity Corridor nears opening

Ohio Department of Transportation Director Jack Marchbanks, city of Cleveland Mayor Frank G. Jackson, and local stakeholders joined celebrate the impending opening of the new Opportunity Corridor Blvd. specifically designed to revitalize the neighborhood. At one time, the area of Cleveland between I-490 and University Circle was known as the “Forgotten Triangle” due to the lack of economic activity. 

The purpose of the Opportunity Corridor Project is to improve the transportation system and support planned economic development. To accomplish this a new boulevard has been constructed between I-490/E. 55th Street to E. 105th in University Circle. The new 35-mph boulevard-type road includes a 35-mph a median, traffic signals, new pedestrian and bicycle paths, tree lawns, landscaping and vehicular, pedestrian, and rail bridges.

"Transportation is about connecting people. This isn't just an investment in asphalt, concrete, and steel, this is an investment in people, business, and opportunity," said Gov. Mike DeWine. "The Opportunity Corridor will benefit these neighborhoods and better connect northeast Ohio with University Circle and all the resources available there."

ODOT committed to improving inclusion and exceeding goals for small and disadvantaged business on all three construction sections and succeeded! The department's unprecedented outreach effort was to spend 20% - $41.9 million - of all construction costs with new, small and disadvantaged business. As of September 30, more than $70 million of the $207 million construction costs have been spent with disadvantaged businesses.

Additionally, 38,500 hours of work on the project was to be completed through the on-the-job (OJT) training program. This program gives participants hands on experience working on the job with experienced workers. As of September 30, OJT participants worked more than 49,000 hours.

This project created opportunities for northeast Ohioans and businesses that will continue to benefit the region for years to come. 

"For too many years, these neighborhoods and those who call them home have been bypassed by opportunity. Now, we're bringing opportunity right to their front door. For a lot of residents, this opportunity is a career, not just a job," said ODOT Director Jack Marchbanks.

Development along the Opportunity Corridor Blvd. has already started with new businesses and existing businesses expanding. Nearly one-billion-dollars has been invested or is in development within a quarter mile of the boulevard in the last five years.

“The Opportunity Corridor gives us the opportunity to spur investments, jobs and real estate developments in neighborhoods where they otherwise wouldn't have happened,” said Cleveland Mayor Frank G. Jackson. “I want to thank Former Governor Kasich, Governor DeWine, ODOT and all our state and local partners for their dedication to this project and helping ensure that Cleveland contractors and local residents can participate in and benefit from its success.”

Funding partners for the project include Federal Highway Administrator (FHWA) during the project development phases and the Ohio Turnpike and Infrastructure Commission (OTIC), city of Cleveland, Cuyahoga County, Northeast Ohio Area Coordinating Agency (NOACA), and Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority (GCRTA) for the construction.  

The OTIC funding for the project was an innovative plan that included leveraging monies from future revenues of the Ohio Turnpike. This innovative funding program helped to break ground sooner and costs for the project came in $74 million less than the 2013 FWHA cost estimate of $331 million.

“I want to extend my sincere appreciation to the planning, design, and construction staff who worked on the Opportunity Corridor project,” said John Picuri District 12 Deputy Director. “It’s because of these hardworking men and women that this important project was able to come to fruition.”

Opportunity Corridor Blvd. is expected to officially open to traffic late next week. Minor work will continue through June 2022 including striping, landscaping, bridge painting, minor asphalt work, and bridge work, which will require various lane restrictions.

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BACKGROUND:

Section 1 reconstrued E.105th St from Quebec Ave to north Chester Ave. McTech Corp/Perk Company Inc., a joint venture, for a bid amount of $20,969,780. Construction was completed in fall 2017.

Section 2 constructed a new roadway from East 93rd Street to Quebec Avenue. Value-Based Design-Build contract was awarded to the Great Lakes Construction Company for a bid amount of $35,328,000. Construction was completed in fall 2018.

Section 3 constructed a new roadway from I-490/East 55th Street to East 93rd Street. Design-Build contract was awarded to the Kokosing Construction Company for a bid amount of $150,858,250. Construction began in fall 2018 and all work is expected to be complete June 2022.

For more information, please visit www.OpportunityCorridor.transportation.ohio.gov