(Cleveland) - Ground was broken Friday for major commuting artery through Cleveland and Lakewood is in line for a big face lift.
The Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority has approved an $8 upgrade for Clifton Boulevard from Lake Avenue in Cleveland to West Clifton in Lakewood. The Federal Transit Administration is paying for 80% of the project.
The four-miles worth of improvements will included dedicated curb lanes for RTA buses that travel the popular No. 55 route, which would become "The West Shore Express".
The buses would come every ten minutes during rush hours. A new traffic signal system would give buses the priority.
Along with completely repaving the road, it will be widened one foot in each direction for new curbs and gutters.
(Photo courtesy of RTA)
A number of beautification measures are also planned, along with 19 illuminated bus stations.
"Since the days of the streetcars, Clifton Boulevard has been a key transportation Corridor in this region," says Joe Calabrese, RTA's CEO and General Manager. "This fall, we are breaking ground on a signficant infrastructure project that will transform this Corridor through Lakewood and Cleveland."
"We know that great transit projects can yield great results. If they are done right, they are about more than just transit. Look at RTA's HealthLine on Euclid Avenue. This internationally recognized project helped stimulate more than $5 billion in economic development, while increasing ridership by more than 60 percent. We anticipate that this Clifton project will bring similar success to the West Side."
RTA's full board is expected to give final approval at its August 20 meeting. If that happens, work could begin next month. Work should be completed in November 2014.
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(Copyright © 2013 by Clear Channel, all rights reserved. Artist rendering courtesy RTA. Photo by WTAM 1100.)