The Euclid Corridor Project: Taking it to the Streets
How RTA is promoting awareness of the $220 million project
by Tom Reed
WMV Web News Cleveland
Story filed February 27, 2002

In March, the public will get its first visible clue that the Euclid Corridor Transportation project is still alive and well.

That’s when some new buses will begin serving the Euclid #6 route. These are not the high-tech vehicles that will eventually be part of the Bus Rapid Transit system. Far from it. But they will have distinctive paint and graphics identifying the Euclid Corridor “brand”, and will have promotional material about the ECTP inside.

The buses that you will see on the streets in March are part of the replacement fleet RTA buys every year. They have some of the same features of the new BRT vehicles, such as low floors, and cost about $200,000 each.

That’s about one-sixth the estimated $1.2 million price tag for each of the new diesel-electric buses sought for the Euclid Corridor project. These will be 60-foot articulated buses, with doors on both sides so passengers can board from either left or right. In July, the RTA board will select a manufacturer for the new generation buses. Dennis Albrecht, project manager, says about 20 buses will be needed to provide service at five-minute intervals during daytime hours.

The vehicles are only one part of the $220 million plan, which involves rebuilding Euclid Avenue with landscaped medians and special bus lanes from Public Square to University Circle.

On February 19, the RTA Board of Trustees approved two contracts totaling about $9.3 million for final design of the project. The bulk of that, more than $9 million, goes to Wilbur Smith Associates, Inc. of Ohio for architectural and engineering services. This is one of the key items on RTA’s timetable for the rest of the year.

  • In September, the project design reaches the 60 percent completion mark, with approval by the Cleveland City Planning Commission expected in November.

  • In December, the Federal Transit Administration is expected to approve the full funding grant agreement. That’s important because federal funds account for $135 million of the $220 million cost.

It will be late 2003 before ground is broken for the first construction project. Originally, that was the completion date for the entire system. Now, the target date is 2006.

In any project of this magnitude there are many variables, not the least of which is the availability of federal money. RTA has given us an outline of what to expect in 2002. We’ll be watching to see if that schedule is kept.

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Copyright 2002 Tom Reed