Interstate 490 Ohio
Interstate 490 in Ohio connects Interstates 90 (Northwest Freeway) and 71 (Medina Freeway) with Interstate 77 (Willow Freeway) between the Tremont and North Broadway neighborhoods in central Cleveland. The urban freeway represents a short portion of the original Clark Freeway proposed east from the Innerbelt (I-90) to the Outer Belt East Freeway (Interstate 271) at Beachwood and Pepper Pike.
The Innerbelt Project along Interstate 90 included work to rebuild the I-71 overpasses at the four level interchange with I-490 and several changes to ramps at the north end I-77 at Downtown. Ramps from I-90 east to I-77 south and from I-77 north to I-90 west were closed by April 11, 2011, with Interstate 490 designated as the new connection for those movements.1
The Interstate 490 connector was first envisioned as part of an urban loop taking Interstate 80S from the Parma Freeway (planned I-90) east along the Clark Freeway to the Bedford Freeway across central Cleveland. I-290 was proposed to extend the Clark Freeway east from the Bedford Freeway at the Kinsman neighborhood to the Outer Belt East Freeway at Beachwood, where it would overlap with I-271 north to I-90 in Lake County. Increasing community opposition throughout the 1960s led to several freeway cancellations, including all of the Clark Freeway east from North Broadway.
The following map shows the planned Interstate 290 freeway as seen in the Ohio Official State Map from 1969 (Cleveland inset):
The redesignation of Interstate 290 to 490 was approved by AASHTO on November 10, 1973. The change redefined the eastern terminus from I-271 and Shaker Heights to Interstate 480 at Maple Heights. The southeastern route to Maple Heights (Bedford Freeway) from East 55th Street was never built, with the exception of the trumpet interchange and access road between I-480 and Broadway Avenue at Exit 23.
East End – Cleveland
West End – Cleveland
Mileage – 2.43
Cities – Cleveland
- Junctions –
Source: December 31, 2018 Interstate Route Log and Finders List
Interstate 290 would have continued due east from the Interstate 90 northward turn at I-71 to Shaker Heights and Beachwood.
The earliest proposal for what would later become part of Interstate 490 incorporated a portion of the Interstate 80N loop north from Ravanna to Cleveland and west along Interstate 90 to the Ohio Turnpike. The southeasterly jog of I-80N to Maple Heights was later incorporated into a proposed reroute of I-490 to Maple Heights before the route was dropped all together east of 55th Street.
The Cleveland Innerbelt study conducted by the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) starting in fall 2000 included two alternatives involving new construction between Interstate 490 and the University Circle neighborhood in northeast Cleveland. One concept extended the freeway along railroad right of way northeast to Interstate 90 at East 133rd Street and the Forest Hills neighborhood. The second alternative outlined an at-grade boulevard between I-490 and East 105th Street along the same railroad corridor.
The freeway plan included interchanges at East 55th Street, Kinsman Road, Woodland Avenue, Stokes Boulevard, Euclid Avenue, Superior Avenue, St. Clair Avenue and East 133rd Street. The alternative was estimated to cost $1.5 billion and displace 165 residences. Community opposition from East Side neighborhoods ranged from activists, residents, Council President Frank Jackson and Cleveland Mayor Jane Campbell.
The boulevard concept would range from four to six lanes separated by a median with signalized intersections. Only 25 residences would be displaced. Costs were estimated at $160 million, with ten years of construction potentially starting by 2007.2 The boulevard was rebranded and incorporated into the Opportunity Corridor Study conducted in 2004 by a consultant team. The Opportunity Corridor Steering Committee was subsequently formed comprising ODOT, the city of Cleveland, Cuyahoga County and several other groups, residents and business owners. The committee identified a Recommended Preferred Alternative in July 2011.3
Now incorporated in the Opportunity Corridor Project, a $331 million public-private partnership with the goal of redeveloping more than 300 acres of underutilized land and brown fields, the new road would comprise a divided 35 MPH boulevard with traffic lights and new pedestrian and bicycle paths. Project details were presented at an October 2013 Public Hearing. FHWA approved the Environmental Impact Statement for the corridor and issued a Record of Decision on May 1, 2014.3
The Opportunity Corridor will extend east three miles from East 55th Street to University Circle and East 105th Street. Construction is divided into three sections:
- Section 1 – Upgrades to East 105th Street from Quebec Avenue to north of U.S. 322 (Chester Avenue). Construction started in winter 2015.
- Section 2 – New roadway from East 93rd Street to Quebec Avenue. Construction started in spring 2016.
- Section 3 – New roadway from Interstate 490 and East 55th Street to East 93rd Street. Construction to begin in 2017.
See detailed schematics of the Preferred Alternative on the ODOT web site.
East End / 55th Street – Cleveland, Ohio
West End – Cleveland, Ohio
- “Two Interstate 77/90 Ramps to Close Permanently as Part of Innerbelt Work.” Ohio Department of Transportation, April 5, 2011.
- “Connecting I-490 to University Circle – An Examination of the Economic and Community Development Impacts of ODOT’s East Side Alternatives on affected City Neighborhoods and University Circle.”
https://www.dot.state.oh.us/projects/ClevelandUrbanCoreProjects/OpportunityCorridor/Documents/OCI490ConnectorStudy.pdfOhio Department of Transportation, February 2002.
- Opportunity Corridor – Project Overview. Ohio Department of Transportation project web site. Accessed April 13, 2016.
Page updated July 24, 2017.