October 25, 2011

Cleveland RTA dedicates new accessible station

After more than a year of construction and seven years of planning, the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority (RTA) East 55th Street Rapid Station was officially dedicated in mid-October.

The $9.4 million, ADA-accessible station is not only an icon in the Slavic Village neighborhood, but will also be as versatile as it is aesthetically pleasing. Construction called for a move to the southeast corner I-490 and East 55th St., making for a more visible landmark and providing easier access to pedestrians and vehicles.

East 55th is unique because it is one of the few stations that services the Red Line, as well as the Blue and Green Lines, connecting east side and west side transit, along with linking bus-to-rail service.

The new parking lot and entrance allows buses and automobiles to drop passengers off at the door of the station. Also new to the station is a center platform that allows convenient transfer between Red, Blue and Green line transit without having to cross the tracks. At over 800 feet in length, the platform was a major piece of engineering, according to RTA officials.

The modern design was selected to embrace the future of its surrounding neighborhood. The stone façade was selected to represent the many churches in the E. 55th vicinity.

Public art surrounds the facility, with the structure’s purple and cement façade serving as an art form in itself. Art featured includes a mural titled “Space, Speed and Time,” along with red figures that appear to move as your train arrives and departs the station.

During the development stages, a great deal of collaboration and planning took place between RTA and the Slavic Village Development, residents and stakeholders. City Councilman Anthony Brancatelli, Ward 12, was instrumental in bringing things together between the City and RTA.

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