CLEVELAND - If you haven’t been downtown since your last trip to Progressive Field, your commute might look very different heading to the home opener.
Since last baseball season, ODOT closed the old Innerbelt bridge and opened the first of two new Innerbelt Bridges, the George V. Voinovich Bridge. This construction work also means the closing of some commonly used ramps to get to Progressive Field. Best to brush up on what the downtown commute looks like these days.
ODOT is recommending Tribe fans use RTA to avoid any traffic headaches, and RTA is increasing rail service to accommodate large crowds.
If you are driving from the west your best option is to avoid the new bridge and use Interstate 490 to I-77, where all downtown exits are open. If you stay on I-90 and the new bridge, the only exit is E. 9th Street. This exit is expected to get busy early on. If you continue past E. 9th, E. 22nd and Carnegie are closed so your next option is Chester. However, you can only get onto Chester heading eastbound and there is repaving work going between E. 13th and E. 27th St leaving just one lane.
If you take Jennings Freeway, there is no way to get onto the Innerbelt Bridge so you will need to use the I-490 to I-77 route, and coming from the east or south from I-77 there are no changes.
Once downtown, you can park at the Gateway East Garage. The special event rate will be in effect and daily customers will not have regular access. Parking will be restricted on the south side of Prospect Avenue, the south side of Huron and on either side of E. 9th between Chester and Ontario and on Erie Court and Sumner Court. Signs restricting parking will be posted.
The City of Cleveland Traffic Bureau will have traffic controllers in place to help improve the flow of traffic on busy downtown streets.