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The transportation network is a region’s life blood and quality transportation facilities can enhance its economic vitality. Fortunately, Cleveland has developed a multi-modal transportation network that provides access to its commercial, industrial, and residential areas. The elements of this network include the following:

Streets: The City contains approximately 300 miles of arterial and collector roadways and 1,000 miles of residential city streets which provide access to all properties. It also includes 499 bridges (with the City bearing responsibility for the maintenance of 126 of them).

Freeways: The City is served by nearly 50 miles of limited access highways including three mainline freeways including I-90, I-77, I-71 which provide access from points east, west, and south giving Cleveland direct freeway links to such places Boston, New York, Chicago, and the Pacific Coast. It is also served by I-480, I-490, and SR 176 (Jennings Freeway) which act as important connecting links between the mainlines and which provide access to other portions of the City. In addition, it has access to I-80 (Ohio Turnpike) several miles to the south and I-271 through the eastern suburbs.

Completed in 1996, RTA’s Waterfront Line was constructed to connect the City’s Downtown mass transit terminal to the new attractions located along the lakefront.  [RTA Waterfront Line train near the North Coast Harbor station]
Mass Transportation: The Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority (RTA) was created in 1975 with the merger of the Cleveland Transit System and several suburban lines. The network currently includes 650 buses serving 101 routes, 108 rail transit cars serving 52 stations on 34 miles of track (3 lines) as well as a fleet of paratransit vehicles to accommodate people with physical or mental disabilities. Countywide, the system serves approximately 55.5 million passengers annually. In 1968, Cleveland was the first American city to connect its Central Business District to its airport via rail rapid transit. In 1996, RTA completed a light rail transit extension from its Downtown terminal to the lakefront and the attractions located there.

Railroads: The City of Cleveland is served by two national mainline freight railroads ( Norfolk Southern and CSX) and a number of smaller industrial and switching railroads that provide additional access to local commercial and industrial customers throughout the area. The City is also provided with inter-city passenger service by the National Railroad Passenger Corporation (Amtrak) at its lakefront station.

Cleveland Hopkins International Airport handles 259,000 take-offs and landings annually (2005) making it northern Ohio’s busiest airport.  [A commercial jetliner arriving at Hopkins]
Airports: Two general aviation airports are located within the City of Cleveland including Cleveland Hopkins International Airport and Burke Lakefront Airport. Hopkins was opened in 1925 as the first municipal airport in the United States. It handles nearly 264,000 take-offs and landings and nearly 12 million passengers annually (2004) and is a hub for Continental Airlines. Located downtown, Burke is a general aviation facility that opened in 1947 and handles approximately 84,000 take-offs & landings (2004). Burke also serves as host to two major annual events, the Cleveland Grand Prix auto race and the Cleveland National Air Show.

The Port of Cleveland, third largest on the Great Lakes, includes facilities on Lake Erie as well as the Cuyahoga River.  [A Great Lakes bulk carrier at the Whiskey Island dock on Lake Erie
Port Facilities: The City of Cleveland is served by the Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority, which is the third largest port on the Great Lakes. It includes significant facilities both along the Lake Erie shoreline as well as along the northerly most five miles of the Cuyahoga River, which is dredged to a depth that allows the passage of bulk carrying ships. Since the opening of the St. Lawrence Seaway in 1959, Cleveland has been connected by water to international markets worldwide. The Port handles 12-16 million metric tons of cargo annually which represents approximately $1 billion in imports/exports.


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