3 regional projects, two in Cuyahoga County and one in Lorain County, have been made available for public review.
One of the projects specifically, the construction of a pedestrian bridge from Dock 32 to Voinovich Park in Cleveland, was on that I find special interest in. Proposed in 2006 the request for a movable type pedestrian bridge structure which enclosed the constructed "North Coast Harbor" adjacent to the Rock Hall (where the Goodtime docks) would create a pedestrian shortcut between the Science Center and First Energy Football Stadium to Voinovich Park, one of the few public park places of lakefront in Cleveland proper.
The bridge itself was to designed by Miguel Rosales of Rosales + Partners, an architecture and engineering firm that are no slouches in pedestrian bridge design. Rosales presented 6 proposals (Steve Litt in the way back machine) of which a twin drawbridge was selected (although I personally appreciated the Thomas Heatherwick "rolling bridge" like proposal - its a youtube link).
If you were paying attention you were probably wondering, "Hey, where the heck did that project go off to?" which is very similar to the questions I raised last time I was strolling around the Mather and Rock Hall looking at the frozen lake. Surprisingly (not surprisingly really) some unforseen considerations (Coast Guard requiring a manned control booth to operate the bridge) leading to extended design schedule has pushed the project 6 years which has created a $2.4 million shortfall (inflation and added project scope eg "more stuff than originally planned for". NOACA is being asked for $1.5 million while the project sponsor will provide the remaining.
This is one of those projects that I think is personally necessary to improving the Lakefront, something any Clevelander bemoans as necessary, and is more pleasing then an interchange in the suburbs. HOWEVER the fact that the project was so poorly executed as to miss the targeted budget by 40% makes me a tad frustrated. I suppose it is entirely possible that the shortfall was evident long before and this proposal for bridge funds is just a formality, but when projects drag on and costs increase so tremendously one begins to wonder who isn't doing their job, and there are lots of possibilities.
The easy 4:
The design/designer might not be realistic in response to the budget.
The client may be adding project scope (growing the project).
The cost estimator might be completely missing the mark.
More importantly, all three might be hesitating to have "the discussion" that not everything is unicorns and roses and there are some problems with the greatest of plans. I like to call this "the disconnect" and it shouldn't happen as much as it does. The only surprise everyone likes is when it involves cupcakes, surprise price overages, and to a lesser extent underages, do not serve the client or the project goals efficiently.
I'm going to support the dang project though. Anything to get PEOPLE moving around the city and visiting new corners is for the greater good of livability downtown which is the cornerstone of the region. I'm just not going to be extremely happy about it.