Opening of Opportunity Corridor Section 2

Article by Crain's Cleveland Business's, Jay Miller.

Section 2 of the three-mile, $300 million Opportunity Corridor is complete enough to merit a ribbon-cutting."

It happened Thursday, Nov. 29, on a new bridge over East 105th Street between Quincy and Quebec avenues, formally completing the $35 million Section 2 project.

"We are truly thankful for our funding partners as well as the construction companies that helped build this historic project," said Myron Pakush, ODOT District 12 Deputy Director. "Not only have we met our goals for local hiring and on-the-job training, we've exceeded them."

The city of Cleveland sees the property along the new roadway as the spine of a new neighborhood of commercial and residential development. Mayor Frank Jackson also has insisted, at one point holding up the start of work on Section 2, that the project employ a fair share of city residents. The goal was 20% local residents and Pakush said Section 2's local employment hit more than 23.5%.

Noting the "bumps along the way," Jackson praised ODOT's work and said the new road, which traverses an underdeveloped part of the city's East Side called the "Forgotten Triangle," will have a major impact on the city.

"It will really allow us to have access to undeveloped properties," he said. "And with that access we now have the opportunity to develop that property that we would not have been able to develop but for the road. This will allow us to create jobs and a tax base and make this road an example of how things operate in Cleveland."

Section 2 includes the bridge across Norfolk Southern Railway tracks and a half mile of roadway that connects 105th Street across Quincy to East 93rd Street. The project included an extension of the existing 105th Street rail platform for the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority's Red Line.

When completed, the five-lane roadway, officially an extension of State Route 10, will begin at the end of I-490 and spill out into University Circle. Section 1 was a rebuilding of East 105th Street through University Circle. In January, ODOT let a $178 million contract for the 1.8-mile Section 3 that runs from East 93rd Street to East 55th Street. Completion is expected in 2021.

Cutting the ribbon along with Jackson and Pakush were a group of public officials including Lloyd McAdam, ODOT's assistant director of transportation policy and chief engineer, and Cleveland City Councilman Blaine Griffin, as well as George Palko, president and CEO of Great Lakes Construction Co., the prime contractor for Section 2.

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