Cleveland, OH

Four regional trail projects advance

Cleveland Metroparks get $950,000 to make four regional trail projects shovel-readyMetroparks

Four regional trail projects in Cuyahoga County were advanced in their planning to either study their feasibility or to develop detailed engineering and environmental documentation so they can be eligible for federal construction dollars.

Cleveland Metroparks today announced it was awarded $950,000 by the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) to advance the planning and design of four regional transportation projects that encompass 5.7 miles of trail and bicycle connections on Cleveland’s East Side and in the city of Euclid. Three of the four projects impact Cleveland’s Slavic Village neighborhood and the southeast side of the city.

The projects were awarded federal funding through the USDOT’s Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity (RAISE) grants program and will support an overall $1.5 million planning effort that includes local funding from Cleveland Metroparks and the City of Cleveland. The funding request was submitted last May. One project, the Jennings Towpath Connector south of Steelyard Commons, was not approved for funding.

The four projects in the RAISE award are derived from the Cuyahoga Greenways Plan, a countywide trail and bikeway master plan that was completed in late 2019. The plan’s development was funded through the Northeast Ohio Areawide Coordinating Agency’s (NOACA) Transportation for Livable Communities Initiative (TLCI) program and the Cuyahoga County Planning Commission, the project sponsor. The award is a direct result of collaboration between Cuyahoga County, the City of Cleveland and Cleveland Metroparks through the Cuyahoga Greenway Partners to advance several priorities in the ambitious Cuyahoga Greenways Plan.

“We’re thrilled to advance these projects on Cleveland’s East Side that will have significant local and regional impacts on the region,” said Cleveland Metroparks CEO Brian Zimmerman said in a written statement. “I want to thank Cuyahoga County and the City of Cleveland for their work through the Cuyahoga Greenways Partners to prioritize these critical gaps, as well as thank the U.S. Department of Transportation for supporting our efforts to make Cleveland a more equitable and connected city.”

Slavic Village Development Corp. Executive Director Chris Alvarado said he and others have been trying to get federal funds to undertake design and engineering for these projects for a long time. Without having the plans and environmental clearances completed, the Cleveland Metroparks, Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) and others could not apply for federal construction dollars.

Read more about Metroparks trail projects at NEOtrans.

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