CLEVELAND - Decades of dreaming are coming true. After years of planning and months of collaboration, Shaker Heights has the $18.5 million needed for the first stage of road redevelopment: the reconfiguration of the Warrensville/Van Aken intersection.
The final piece to the financial puzzle was secured in late January, when city officials said the District One Public Works Integrating Committee approved a $4.4 million grant.
In late 2013, Shaker Heights residents will begin to see the first changes planned for the Van Aken district.
The intersection, where six roads now come together, has long been a nightmare for area drivers. So, it will be turned into a standard four-way intersection, reducing wait times, confusion and congestion.
Northfield Road will be relocated to the south and Van Aken Boulevard will close at Farnsleigh.
Upgrades will also be made to roads, pedestrian facilities, and streetscapes, including tree planting. The crosswalks will improve the pedestrian experience, making a once dangerous intersection easy to navigate.
Future phases of the redevelopment include a .3 mile extension of the RTA Blue Line through the intersection to a new Intermodal Transit Center, which will position the area as a transportation hub.
The City's recently adopted Economic Development and Marketing Plans further map out a strategy for attracting businesses and developers to the new Van Aken district.
City officials have said the goal is to make the district "a vibrant, mixed use downtown destination."