Last Friday, work began on the $4.3 million East 22nd
Street improvement project. The effort will revitalize the nearly one-mile corridor between Orange and Euclid Avenues with new pavement; curb, drainage and sidewalk work; median improvements and new traffic signals. Upgrades will also include new streetscape elements such as signage, benches, brick pavers, bike racks, trash receptacles, trees and shrubs.
The project is a collaboration between the Ohio Department of Transportation
(ODOT), the city of Cleveland and the Northeast Ohio Areawide Coordinating Agency
(NOACA). Road work is slated for completion this fall, with streetscaping amenities to be complete in the spring of 2016.
Street really will become our north/south 'Main Street,'" says Bobbi Reichtell, executive director at Campus District, Inc.
, noting how the project will improve the connection between Saint Vincent Charity Medical Center
, Cleveland State University
, and Cuyahoga Community College
"There are a lot of students that go between CSU and Tri-C. They take classes at both," she says. "It is literally a 12-minute walk. It's not a pleasant walk right now. It's barren and institutional. No one walks or bikes it."
Reichtell is confident that will change when bike lanes, greenery, neighborhood signs and public art created by local artist Augustus Turner are all in place.
"It's just going to be a much more pleasant experience for biking and walking," she says. "We expect to have many more walkers and bikers between CSU and Tri-C."
As usual, before Clevelanders see improvements they'll have to endure some orange barrels. East 22nd
Street will be reduced to one lane of traffic in each direction between Orange and Carnegie Avenues. Between Carnegie and Euclid Avenues, which is already one-way northbound, traffic will be reduced to one lane. Motorists are advised to be aware of signal modifications during construction as well.
Ironically, this does not necessarily come as bad news to many within the Campus District, including Reichtell, who expresses as much with words rarely heard in Northeast Ohio. "We are so excited to see orange barrels," she says. "Even though it will bring short term pain, this is a long time in coming. We're finally getting what we've been asking for."