? of the Day: What is status of ODOT I-90 Bridge Project?

Submitted by Norm Roulet on Thu, 05/25/2006 - 00:12.

 

Here's what's up, as of 1 PM on 05/24/06 - the drilling has moved to the top of the Viaduct.. It seems like years ago we talked about alternatives, and signature bridges to the south, and economic development in the valley between Tremont and downtown Cleveland... now, the only sound is the Test Bor Company drilling into out historic viaduct. We'll be watching this project, as they start blasting away our Central Ramparts, and demolish the Gillita Building and many others... we'll keep reminding the community of what they've done... you've done... we've done... live and in color. If you see or know anything about this project the community should know about, post it here - we'll keep the latest images posted here, as well...

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what is their bore test schedule?

When you go out to photograph these guys can you get a phone number, we can call to ask about the rest of the plans for ODOT testing? They (Hebebrand -- ODOT project manager) said, in a meeting yesterday, that they will be testing the ground at all potential sites for all alternatives for the bridge -- that they will test not only at the "preferred recommended alternative" northern alignment. It would be interesting to know if the company is scheduled to test at the site for the southern bridge alignment, too -- maybe next week. If they don't test elsewhere, we need to bring that question to Hebebrand and Proctor. Thanks for keeping after it.

The folks gathered yesterday for the section 106 process were an impressive bunch. Federal Highways and ODOT were clearly made to stand on the line and answer hard questions by the consulting parties. This may be one of those hard questions we will have an opportunity to pose as well. Why are you only testing around the "recommended preferred alternative" if more alternatives are actually still alive?

ODOT CONTRACTS PUBLIC RECORD

http://dodge.construction.com/Reports/    This may help you find what the contract scope is.

Good News- Federal Historic Review Process Begins

Norm, first of all- let me know if they have touched the actual Central Viaduct remnants, that could be big trouble for ODOT.

On May 24th, the FHWA & ODOT held the initial meeting with the potential "Consulting Parties" for the National Historic Preservation Act's- Section 106 Historic Properties review for the Cleveland Innerbelt Project.  There were about 30 people there, mostly officials from the FHWA, ODOT, SHPO, county, city, and their consultants.  The exceptions were two historical consultants and and three interested citizens.

Although ODOT ran the meeting, the FHWA made it clear that no decisions will be made until after the "Environmental Impact Statement" document is completed and the FHWA will make the final decisions regarding the project.  There were several informative presentaions about the Section 106 process and how the Consulting Parties input will be implemented.  The most informative part of the meeting is when the citizens and consultants grilled ODOT and the FHWA on the its processes and how it has negative affects the historic review process.

Now, to answer your question.  ODOT has clearly failed implementing its Project Development Process (PDP) and Public Involvement Process (PIP).  This fact is no longer being ignored, because the Section 106 process is under federal oversite and regulated by law.  After the meeting, I spoke to the FHWA guy from Chicago and the ODOT guy from Columbus that are in charge of the Section 106.  They told me that they have not intimately tracked how ODOT has run it processes up to now.  However, the Section 106 process that they are responsible for will be implemented "by the book."

They both told me that Section 106 basically states that if a property is eligible or listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the agency has to CONSIDER all alternatives that will have less or no impact to the property.  If the property is impacted, there has to some mitigation.  That could mean documenting the property before demolition.

HOWEVER- they told me about the Federal Transportation Act of 1966- Section 4(f), which comes into play after the Section 106, is much more protective of historic properties.  I have to do more reseach on this.  They said told me that FTA- Section 4(f), basically states that if a property is eligible or listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the agency MUST IMPLEMENT THE ALTERNATIVE that will have less or no impact to the property. So it has some teeth to change this lame process around and get the Southern Bridge Alignment Alternative back on the table and make it a reality!

Excellent report and news, Ed - good to see this escalate

I'm glad you are getting higher level state and federal attention to this matter and learning more of the dynamics of this process. I am in the process of documenting the buildings on the East Bank of the Flats that seem to be historic landmarks and we should explore how the process has been handled with them. I'll post to REALNEO and you can comment there... we should file the papers with the Landmarks Commission, if that hasn't been done...

You should go check out the boring - you can see where they are working and where they are done.

Check with Susan Miller and Martha Eakin about Flats East Bank

Susan and Marta contacted the Cleveland Landmarks Commission and City Planning Commission about the historic buildings on the Flats East Bank and the landmarks process.  I heard Tom Starinshy of the Warehouse & Gateway CDC say at the Trench meeting that those historic properties already went through the Federal Section 106 Historic Review process.  I must have been a very quiet and lame review and process.

I think that the "Consulting Parties" for the Section 106 process make all the difference in the world.  Even though it is a federal regulated process, if the Consulting Parties don't make a fuss, it will be rubber stamped.  At the Innerbelt Section 106 meeting, Carol Poh Miller, Susan Miller, Martha Eakin and myself raised a lot tough questions for ODOT and the FHWA to consider and embarress them.  If we were not there, nobody would have raised any questions.

See if you can learn anything at Ohio Test Bor - 330- 220-6436

thanks for the zoom in on TestBor door

I must have been blind on the first go round. I noticed this after I posted the suggestion. I'll try to chase down this info and let you know what response I get.

I'M OBJECTIVE FOR ONCE

 

At my age I usually have a knee jerk  opinion about everything in a millisecond .   The difference with the inner belt bridge project is that I don’t have a north or south opinion – how could I – I have no real facts, figures, data, or costs for either.  

 

So I can honestly say - at this point - I don’t give a damn which way it goes – AS LONG AS IT IS DONE WITH THE LEGALLY REQUIRED PROCEEDURE AND PUBLIC INPUT.

 

That’s where Citizen Hauser caught my attention.  And I checked it out.  Ed’s right.  ODOT’s wrong.  ODOT is violating the federal and state requirements.  That gets me worked up because I have a lot of my tax money in play – projected close to a billion without the usual cost over runs for the bridge.

 

We know from Ney and the coin investments that Ohio is rampant with corruption and self serving nonsense. What’s going on here?  Why is ODOT hot for the north alignment before they do their legislated job of considering alternatives.  Get’s me curious.

 

Now when the guys - ODOT - who are supposed to be the referees  clearly don’t call it right – repeatedly , the sports fans want to jump out of the stands..

 

I want to encourage everyone to engage and take a stand on this issue – what ODOT is doing is not right.

106 sarah was outstanding

and don't forget the tough questions posed by Sarah J. Beimers Preservation Programs Associate of the Cleveland Restoration Society. She really had the tough questions posed like, " when I did this in another state with FHWA..."

I think the east bank is blighted, and it is over for the owners there. They can get what they get and we will get a Wolstein playground. I think at this point we can only try to urge that it be green. City Planning already ruled.

Explain more about Sarah J. Beimers

It is clear many people are paid by the public to protect our historic assets and community infrastructure, clearly under attack on many fronts in downtown Cleveland - what do you know about the positions of public defenders and agents like the Mayor, Councilpeople, Commissioners, CDC Directors, planners and professed planning professionals on each core development issue in town? I'm going toask them and document that, and can use help.