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Thursday, August 27, 2009

Cleveland RTA breaks ground on new East 55th Street Station

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 Community leaders joined with the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority to break ground for a new $8.5-million Rapid Transit station on East 55th Street and the east end of I-490.The new station will continue to serve both light rail (RTA's Green and Blue lines) and heavy rail (RTA's Red Line). The station is also served by bus routes #2 and #16. The estimated completion is fall 2011. 

"This station will give neighborhood residents a gateway to the rest of the world," says RTA CEO Joe Calabrese. "Every RTA train, from 5 a.m. to well after midnight, will stop here, and give residents easy transportation to downtown jobs, cultural facilities at University Circle, and flight service to other cities from Hopkins International Airport. It will provide both an anchor and a centerpiece for this community, and encourage further economic development."

About 87 percent of the work is being paid with federal funds, including stimulus money from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.

Construction work is being done by the Albert M. Higley Company of Cleveland.

Workers will replace the existing station and build a new one nearby that will offer a more convenient access, and be ADA-compliant. The project includes a new canopy, a stair and elevator tower at track level, an enclosed pedestrian bridge to link the headhouse to the tower, a platform that is 863-feet long and a parking lot.

There are several pieces of public art in the station. To show movement, Michael Murphy designed laser-cut steel panel to be used in the staircases and on fencing outside the station. Ms. Shan Shan Sheng was inspired by the railroad to symbolize the regular rhythm of the railroad tracks with themes of movement, time and space. A colorful acrylic mobile will hang in the bridge walkway. The 30 pieces will be attached to the ceiling and reflect light from the windows.