Largest federal grant awarded to Cleveland Metroparks yet will re-connect Cleveland via bike, pedestrian trails and bridge
Re-Connecting Cleveland: Pathways to Opportunity project
The U.S. Department of Transportation has awarded Cleveland Metroparks a $7.95 million Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery, or TIGER, grant for the funding of a transformative project aimed at re-connecting Cleveland.
Cleveland Metroparks, in partnership with LAND studio and The Trust for Public Land, applied for the grant in late-April 2016. The Re-Connecting Cleveland: Pathways to Opportunity project focuses on filling critical gaps in key shared use trails in the northern section of the Industrial Valley known locally as "the Flats" and along the western neighborhoods of Cleveland. The overall plan is estimated to cost $16.45 million; in addition to the TIGER grant, funds have been secured from the State of Ohio, The Cleveland Foundation, the Wendy Park Foundation and The George Gund Foundation as well.
The U.S. Department of Transportation evaluated nearly 600 applications from across the nation totalling $9.3 billion dollars. With $500 million available to fund transportation projects across the country, the 2016 TIGER grant program focuses on capital projects that generate economic development and improve access to reliable, safe and affordable transportation for urban and rural communities.
"Trail usage is the number one reason Cleveland Metroparks attracts nearly 18 million recreational visits annually," said Cleveland Metroparks Chief Executive Officer Brian Zimmerman. "We are proud to secure highly coveted grant dollars to grow Cleveland's trails and connections. This grant validates our local partnerships and efforts on a national level."
This planned transportation network, via bike and pedestrian trails, will link more than 66,000 Cleveland residents to centers of employment, school, parks, recreation and commerce, is anticipated to become active by 2020.
The TIGER grant will be used as one of the funding sources for the following project elements:
- Wendy Park Bridge - links the Cleveland Foundation Centennial Trail to Wendy Park on Whiskey Island and Lake Erie
- Whiskey Island Connector - links the Wendy Park Bridge to Edgewater Park, three pedestrian tunnels and the Cleveland Lakefront Bikeway
- Cleveland Lakefront Bikeway Connector - links the Cleveland Foundation Centennial Trail to the Cleveland Lakefront Bikeway
- Canal Basin Park Connector - links the Cleveland Foundation Centennial Trail to Canal Basin Park, Rivergate Park, the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority (RTA) Waterfront Line Rapid Transit and downtown Cleveland
- Red Line Greenway - links the Cleveland Foundation Centennial Trail to two RTA Red Line Rapid Transit stations, and provides a primary commuting corridor from W. 65th Street to downtown Cleveland
For the complete application, project location and description, visit clevelandmetroparks.com.