The Detroit-Superior Bridge
Connectivity Plan


07/03/2013 - 1:08pm

This Saturday, July 6, the lower level of the Detroit-Superior Bridge will be opened to the public, as part of the Cuyahoga County’s annual bridge tour.  Open from 9:00am to 3:00pm, the event is free and open to the public, and will feature self-guided tours, films, and volunteers available to answer questions.  Last year, the event attracted more than 1100 visitors to the lower level, and featured a series of input stations to inquire about opening the lower level for permanent use.  As part of those efforts, the final report (Download Link) compiled by the Cleveland Urban Design Collaborative and their constituents is available here for download.  The report, as part of a Transportation for Livable Cities Initiative (TLCI) study, makes a series of design recommendations for the lower level and surrounding area.  This would not be possible without your support, feedback, and inquiries.  We thank you very much for your input, and encourage you to provide any further remarks based on the report.  Happy Bridging!


01/25/2013 - 10:38am

Based on your feedback and input, as well as input from numerous other stakeholders throughout this process, the Bridge Project team has begun to finalize recommendations for opening the lower level of the Detroit-Superior Bridge as a bicycle and pedestrian thoroughfare as well as a venue space.   Visit the Design Ideas section of this site for a closer look.  In conjunction with the numerous projects in the surrounding area, the Bridge Project seeks to establish the lower level and its surroundings as a unique regional destination and primary connector for alternative modes of transportation.  The final report will be compiled over the next several weeks, so your input is still valuable!  Please share with us your take on these recommendations, or offer your own recommendations via our comment page.

  • Based on this study, recommendations include, but are not limited to: 
  • A bike and pedestrian path
  • Lighting and emergency call boxes
  • Surface replacement at the center span
  • Transit waiting enviroments
  • Streetscape Enhancements
  • Mixed use development adjacent to the Bridge
  • Enhanced crosswalks
  • Directional and entry signage
  • Viewing platforms
  • Additional points of entry
  • Dedicated performance space
  • Connection to future Canal Basin Park
09/16/2012 - 1:33pm

Friday, September 21
7am - 11pm
Detroit-Superior Bridge Midway (the lower level)
Entries open on both ends of the bridge (West entry from Cuyahoga County Engineers parking lot on Superior Viaduct and East entry from W. 10th and Superior Ave.)  

Join us on the lower level of the Detroit-Superior Bridge on Friday, September 21st for a full day of activities from 7am to 11pm. It's a chance to experience the bridge at multiple times throughout the day, as it may be open to the public from morning till night in the future.

(One of the names for the lower level suggested at a previous public meeting was "The Midway", so we're using it to see how it feels. Try it for yourself in conversation and let us know what you think!)

RSVP on the Facebook event page here:

This all day public opening will feature events and programming to test new uses suggested at our previous public meetings, including yoga, vendors, music, and a late night movie on the bridge. You may want to take Friday off and hang with us all day, or just join us for lunch and after dinner - it's up to you.

The day's schedule will be continually updated until the event, so check back throughout the week for additional activities here:

In addition to activities organized by the design team, we also want to leave room (time and physical space) throughout the day for you to experiment with ideas for using the bridge. Is there a fun game, art installation or group activity you'd love to try out on the lower level? How would you use the bridge if it was open all day? Contact us via our Facebook event page or by email at cudc[AT] to share a specific use idea you'd like to try on the bridge. Let us know if there are any materials/objects you intend to bring in order to realize your idea and we may be able to help get what you need.

We hope to meet you in The Midway!


08/30/2012 - 3:50pm

The second public engagement event for the Detroit-Superior Bridge Connectivity Plan was held on August 24th focused on the ease of use, access and safety concerns of cyclists and pedestrians. Hundreds of participants came out on the warm Friday afternoon to ride bikes, jog and walk their dogs over the downtown Cleveland bridge. (See photos of the event on Facebook)

Stations were set up at both entrances and along the span of the bridge, which presented design options intended to transform the bridge's lower level into an active year-round public space. Temporary "mock-ups" of bike lane configurations were installed using over 600 yards of duct tape for attendees to test and assess. The Cleveland Bike Rack provided free bike rentals for all those that wanted to try out the temporary cycling facilities.

Feedback was collected via surveys crafted for each station and through one-on-one conversations between attendees and station volunteers. The surveys and comments are currently being processed by the design team and will be used to guide planning decisions moving forward. If you didn't have a chance to attend the event or if you have additional comments you'd like to share with the design team, please contact us through the Submission Form.

The next public event on the bridge's lower level is scheduled for Friday, September 21st and will test a variety of potential uses along the bridge all day, morning through night. More details on this exciting event will be released soon!       

A HUGE thanks to all the volunteers and to Bike Cleveland, The Cleveland Bike Rack, Joy Machines Bike Shop, Ohio City Bike Co-op and Viaduct Lounge for partnering on the event.  

08/10/2012 - 4:46pm

Collage by Design Camp student Maisha showing a potential teen center on the lower level of The Bridge.

This past week, a talented group of young people at the Lakeview Terrace Community Center shared their vision of the potential future use of the lower level of the Bridge.  Local designer and educator Larissa Itomlenskis, in collaboration with the Cleveland Urban Design Collaborative (CUDC), worked closely with more than a dozen young people, ranging in age from ten to sixteen years old at the Community Center, engaging in a dialogue about what the potential future use of the bridge may be, and what it would mean in their community. 

One of the main goals of the week was to create a space for honest dialogue about neighborhood needs.  Much of the value of the camp came through the conversations in studio about what resources, events, and activities people want and value.  The camp then explored possible design solutions to address some of these issues.

A field trip to the lower level of the bridge led by the Department of Public Works introduced the students to the principles of urban design and connectivity, a sense of scale, and relying on their sketchbooks to draw out their intended proposals. 

Observations from the bridge included the vastness of the space, climate control issues, a lack of sufficient lighting, but also an overall appreciation of the space and the potential it has to be a unique destination both in their neighborhood and in Cleveland.  Site observations by the students also included a psychological sense of disconnect between the bridge and Lakeview Terrace, despite its location a mere five-minute walk from the Community Center, or as urbanist Andreas Duany would put it, “Nearby is so far away.”

“I was somewhat surprised that many of the students said they preferred to walk through the Flats as opposed to walking across the top of the bridge to get downtown, but after seeing just how dangerous some of the intersections on W. 25th between Lakeview Terrace and the bridge can be with Shoreway traffic and major truck routes to the Flats, it began to make sense,” says CUDC urban designer and instructor for the camp Jeff Kruth. “There is a real sense of isolation and disconnect from the rest of the near west side, downtown, and their amenities, which the Bridge Project could potentially help to alleviate,” says Kruth.

Students spent the rest of the camp developing design concepts and translating ideas into drawings and collage renderings.  At the end of the week, CUDC director Terry Schwarz visited the studio to discuss student work with the designers themselves.

"The students approached this work with a great deal of energy,” says Ms. Schwarz. I enjoyed talking with them and will incorporate their ideas into the planning process for the bridge.

“We wanted to create a workspace that was fun, but focused and productive.  It’s a design studio.  It’s the real thing,” says Ms. Itomlenskis.

Some ideas that were developed during design camp:

  • More park space and trees in the area
  • A place to play football
  • A space for basketball and dunk contests
  • A Spa
  • An amusement park
  • Trampolines
  • A teen center
  • Music venues
  • A homeless shelter
  • Snack shops and restaurants
  • Tour buses, souvenir shops, and activities specifically for tourists
  • An ice skating rink
  • A swimming pool
  • Places for shopping
  • Trams to make it easier to cross the bridge
  • Places to hang out and relax 

“We tried to underscore that design is an iterative process.  You’ve got to get as many ideas out of your head as possible, and be willing to sort through them and build on them.  We needed to create an environment where people felt comfortable sharing their ideas.  It took a few days to establish that, but then things really got going.  We’re very proud of the students and the work they accomplished,” says Itomlenskis.

A major component of the camp was to not only open up students to ideas about design and creativity, but to keep the community dialogue and momentum going. CUDC’s partners at Lakeview Terrace Community Center, Ms. Williams and Ms. Steele, have expressed interest in sharing students’ design work with residents of the Lakeview Terrace community, and there are plans to exhibit the work during the Cleveland Competition awards ceremony in October.

“We want kids to understand that thinking creatively is a valuable skill. There are many professions open to them that rely on it — whether in business, design or the arts.  We talked about architecture, design, engineering, advertising, illustration and entrepreneurship.  It really is exciting, and we want to link what was accomplished in design camp with future career opportunities.”

Thank you to our partners Jeffery Patterson, Kristie Grove, BerRonica Steele, and Katherine Williams of CMHA for their support in making the the 2012 Lakeview design camp possible, and to Terry Schwarz for being a key collaborator and advocate of design education for young people.

Students' ideas for the lower level of the Bridge and surrounding area:


Performance space and football field.       New Buildings and recreation spaces.




 Pool  and multi-season uses.                 Rock climbing wall, trams, and fun park.



Exploration and concept studies:






07/17/2012 - 3:19pm

On Saturday July 7, an estimated 1100 visitors came to the lower level of the Detroit-Superior bridge. The Cuyahoga County Department of Public Works hosted their annual open house on the bridge, while the Cleveland Urban Design Collaborative (CUDC) presented their current work on the bridge and engaged with community members as to what their visions of the lower level might be. Braving the heat and humidity, community members were excited to see what a great amenity the city has right under its nose. Many great conversations were had, as the CUDC engaged visitors through a series of stations throughout the bridge, asking their input about such issues as accessibility to the bridge, what their favorite places in the neighborhood are, and what they would like to see on the lower level.

We are grateful to everyone who came out and made this event such a success. The CUDC will be hosting further public meetings on the bridge in the near future to discuss their findings and gain feedback. Remember, if you have an idea for the bridge, submit it to us through our contact page above, or "like" the Bridge on facebook. Photos from the event can be seen on our flickr page.

05/23/2012 - 10:49pm

“Because the human being
is the connecting creature
who must always separate
and cannot connect
without separating – that
is why we must first
conceive intellectually
of the merely indifferent
existence of two river
banks as something
separated in order to
connect them by means of a
~Georg Simmel,
“Bridge & Door”

What if...

...and you’re invited! The Cuyahoga County Department of Public Works opens the lower level of the Detroit-Superior Bridge to the public only a few times per year, and Saturday, July 7 the bridge will be open from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tours are free and open to the public to allow visitors to take in unique views of the city and experience one of Cleveland’s most treasured pieces of infrastructure. The County will be presenting on the background and history of the bridge, while the Cleveland Urban Design Collaborative will engage visitors through a presentation of their current work on the bridge and will ask for your input on its future. Stations throughout the bridge will engage, invoke, and help visitors envision a possible future for the bridge. The main entry point for the bridge will be a the west entrance, by the Department of Public Works Garage, located at the corner of W. 25th St. and Detroit Ave. at 2433 Superior Viaduct. We hope to see you there!