Cleveland RTA busily replacing rail stations

Little Italy-University Circle is the first all-new (not a rebuild-in-place) rail station Cleveland since 1996. This station will open this year on the Airport-Windermere Red Line.

Little Italy-University Circle is the first all-new (not a rebuild-in-place) rail station in Greater Cleveland since 1996. This station will open this year on the Airport-Windermere Red Line. Its construction required shutting down the Red Line last summer so the eastbound track we’re riding on in this photo could be moved to insert the new platform between the tracks (All Aboard Ohio photo).

Cleveland has $90 million worth of active station projects along its 50-mile rapid transit system (37 miles rail, 13 miles Bus Rapid Transit or BRT). In fact, there are more station projects moving forward simultaneously now than perhaps at any time in the 40-year history of the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority (GCRTA).

Of the 52 rail stations in the GCRTA rail system, replacing or relocating 11 of them is in various stages of project development (ie: design, funding procurement, bidding, construction). This doesn’t include the $18.5 million reconstruction of the Cedar-University Circle station which re-opened Aug. 28, 2014.

Only one station site is new – Little Italy-University Circle. It replaces a poorly sited station (Euclid-East 120th) for a location at Mayfield Road where it’s helping to spur the $200 million Uptown and Intesa developments. Most station projects are to keep the system in a state of good repair and/or to comply with the federal Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

These are the 11 station projects listed in order of total cost (graphics for each station follow that station’s listing):

Tower City Center (located on Red/Blue/Green/Waterfront lines) – total projected cost is $25 million – Work will start this summer and continue into 2016 on replacing Tracks 7 and 8 costing $7 million with slab tracks like what was done in the airport tunnel and station in 2013 (SEE PHOTO). The old Shaker station’s track 7 will be used temporarily for most westbound trains for the next two years.

Tower City Center GCRTA station (click to enlarge).

Tower City Center GCRTA station (click to enlarge). GCRTA will replace ex-Shaker station track 7 first and then current westbound track 8. Other tracks and drainage will be replaced as more funding becomes available.

GCRTA CEO Joe Calabrese (with blue folder) tours elected officials and media on Stand Up For Transportation Day) April 9 to show them needed trackbed improvements at Tower City station (Click to enlarge).

GCRTA CEO Joe Calabrese (with blue folder) tours elected officials and media on Stand Up For Transportation Day April 9 to show them why trackbeds need to be replaced at Tower City station (Click to enlarge).

 

Little Italy-University Circle (Red Line) – $17.5 million – This station is due to open this year, resulting in the replacement and closure of the Euclid-East 120th station. It involved relocating the eastbound track on a new bridge over Mayfield Road to insert the platform between the tracks.

Little Italy-University Circle station under construction on Mayfield Road, Sept. 27, 2014.

Little Italy-University Circle station under construction on Mayfield Road, Sept. 27, 2014 (Click to enlarge).

 

Brookpark (Red Line) – $16.5 million – Contracts were awarded in March to start construction this year. This station is GCRTA’s second busiest after Tower City Center.

Groundbreaking for the new Brookpark station was held April 9, 2015. This station, GCRTA's second busiest after Tower City, sits on the border of Cleveland and Brook Park. This is the Cleveland entrance.

Groundbreaking for the new Brookpark station was held April 9, 2015. This station, GCRTA’s second busiest after Tower City, sits on the border of Cleveland and Brook Park. This is the Cleveland entrance (Click to enlarge).

 

East 79th (Red Line) – $12 million – Design and construction funding procurement has begun for this station. All Aboard Ohio dropped its objection to rebuild this station at its current, remote location when GCRTA and the city joined up to develop transit-supportive land-use plans for the surrounding area.

East 79th Red Line station. There is also an East 79th station on the combined Blue/Green lines  (Click to enlarge).

East 79th Red Line station. There is also an East 79th station on the combined Blue/Green lines (Click to enlarge). Photo is courtesy of Cleveland.com and appeared with THIS ARTICLE.

 

East 116th (Blue/Green lines) – $6.3 million – Design of a modern, ADA-compliant, two-level station is nearing completion and construction is due to start in 2016.

East 116th station at Shaker Boulevard on the combined Blue/Green lines. There is significant new residential development at the former St. Luke's Hospital next to this station.

East 116th station at Shaker Boulevard on the combined Blue/Green lines. There is significant new residential development at the former St. Luke’s Hospital next to this station.

 

Lee-Van Aken (Blue Line) – $5.4 million – Construction is underway to replace this two-level station with an ADA-compliant facility and should be finished in about 20 months.

Lee Road-Van Aken station on the Blue Line in Shaker Heights (click to enlarge).

Lee Road-Van Aken station on the Blue Line in Shaker Heights (click to enlarge).

 

East 34th-Campus ( Red/Blue/Green lines) – $3.4 million – Design of a modern, ADA-compliant station is nearing completion and construction is due to start by 2017.

East 34th-Campus on the combined Red-Blue-Green lines. However there are no ridership generators within a quarter-mile of this station and no plans to build any, yet GCRTA was urged to rebuild this station anyway for $3.4 million.

East 34th-Campus on the combined Red-Blue-Green lines (click to enlarge). However there are no ridership generators within a quarter-mile of this station and no plans to build any, yet GCRTA was urged to rebuild this station anyway for $3.4 million. Photo is courtesy of Cleveland.com and appeared with THIS ARTICLE.

 

East 105th-Quincy (Red Line) – $4 million – All Aboard Ohio successfully urged tripling the length of the tiny station platform and adding an access point from East 105th (serving the New Economy Village development) as part of the Opportunity Corridor boulevard (underway). The Ohio Department of Transportation is funding 80 percent of the cost.

East 105th Red Line station concept as advocated by All Aboard Ohio in 2013 (click to enlarge).

East 105th Red Line station concept as advocated by All Aboard Ohio in 2013 (click to enlarge).

New Economy neighborhood looking south on East 105th toward the expanded Red Line station (click to enlarge).

New Economy neighborhood looking south on East 105th toward the expanded Red Line station (click to enlarge).

 

Farnsleigh (Blue Line) – $0.225 million – The station is being retrofitted with an ADA-compliant ramp onto trains. Will support the $75 million first phase of the Van Aken District development by RMS Investment Corp. in Shaker Heights.

Phase one of the Van Aken District mixed-use residential/retail/office is being developed by RMS Partners between the Farnsleigh and Warrensville stations on the Blue Line.

Phase one of the Van Aken District mixed-use residential/retail/office is being developed by RMS Investment Corp. between the Farnsleigh and Warrensville (see next listing) stations on the Blue Line (click to enlarge).

 

Warrensville (Blue Line) – $0.2 million – Also getting new ADA ramps and will also support the adjacent Van Aken District development.

Warrensville station at Van Aken Boulevard on the Blue Line in Shaker Heights (click to enlarge). There is also a Warrensville station on the Green Line at Shaker Boulevard.

Warrensville station at Van Aken Boulevard on the Blue Line in Shaker Heights showing the old ADA ramp (click to enlarge). There is also a Warrensville station on the Green Line at Shaker Boulevard.

 

Lee-Shaker (Green Line) – $0.2 million – Also getting new ADA ramps.

Lee Road station at Shaker Boulevard on the Green Line (click to enlarge). There is also a Lee Road station on the Blue Line, but at Van Aken Boulevard (see listing above).

Lee Road station at Shaker Boulevard on the Green Line (click to enlarge). There is also a Lee Road station on the Blue Line, but at Van Aken Boulevard (see listing above).

For updates or more information about these and other Cleveland rail system capital improvements, please visit the GCRTA Major Projects page.

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4 Comments to "Cleveland RTA busily replacing rail stations"

  1. David Aldinger's Gravatar David Aldinger
    April 14, 2015 - 12:39 PM | Permalink

    With the East 34th street station being redeveloped, I would think that some kind of development could be encouraged around it. I thought I read somewhere that the Lee-Van Aken station will be rebuilt into a surface station.

  2. KJP's Gravatar KJP
    April 14, 2015 - 12:58 PM | Permalink

    There are very few flat, vacant, developable parcels around the East 34th station. And the surrounding uses (intermodal container yard, interstate highway, freight railroad, women’s prison…) don’t lend themselves to ridership-rich station-area developments.

    The Lee-Van Aken will remain a two-level station as it would cost a fortune to fill in the rail trench, lay new track, provide temporary bus service around the construction area, etc. Very unpractical.

  3. Marc's Gravatar Marc
    April 14, 2015 - 7:21 PM | Permalink

    This is really great that RTA is finally getting a modicum of support to rebuild their rail stations. Do you have any more details about what the city hopes to accomplish with its E. 79th Street Red Line transit-oriented development plan? Could they convince the land owners surrounding the station that it’s in their interest to develop some mixed use there? Also, I join the disappointed in RTA’s sudden stinginess in not heeding a request to move the E. 34th Street Station to E. 30th near the Post Office. At $6 million, it would be a good investment.

  4. KJP's Gravatar KJP
    April 15, 2015 - 4:33 PM | Permalink

    Hi Marc, thanks for your comments/questions. The joint city/RTA land-use plan for East 79th would be the result of a hoped-for NOACA TLCI grant. The article hotlinked through the East 79th photo caption above mentions this, along with a potential developer that Ed Rybka cited and met with. Sounds like a major developer/project to justify Rybka’s personal attention.

    I think the East 30th station would cost more than $6 million as it would require either two platforms with an elevator/stairwell tower for each, or spreading the tracks to insert an island platform with one elevator/stairwell tower. Either option is very expensive to build and operate. The proposed East 34th station would involve a stairwell and pedestrian ramp down from Broadway — no elevator. So it can be built and operated at lower expense. It’s just in a bad location with little chance of improving due to the lay of the land. Of course, if money was no object, we could build an infill station like this: https://farm6.staticflickr.com/5587/14484074662_0660be903c_b.jpg

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