RTA Waterfront Line Will Be Out of Service Again This Browns Season

Bridge work hopefully to be completed in time for 2023 kickoff.

Waterfront Line, baby. - RTA
Waterfront Line, baby.

The Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority (RTA) has announced that Waterfront Line service will remain suspended for the duration of the 2022-2023 Cleveland Browns season.

Like last year, those commuting to Browns home games via Rapid Transit and disembarking at Tower City will have to walk to First Energy Stadium, as alternate RTA shuttle service will not be provided due to the congestion and general chaos of downtown on game days.

The Waterfront Line first opened in 1996. It is an extension of the light rail Blue and Green lines and carries passengers from Tower City along the East Bank of the Flats toward North Coast Harbor.  Service was suspended last year due to safety concerns about a bridge over the Norfolk Southern Railway tracks in the Flats.

Structural issues were identified there in 2018, and after a more thorough physical audit last year, consultants recommended the indefinite suspension of service and major rehabilitative work, including on the bridge's retaining walls.

In its most recent announcement, RTA said that a temporary solution — four interim support towers stabilizing the bridge — has been implemented and that the design work on a permanent solution has been completed. 

The project is currently in the procurement phase, with a deadline for bids later this week. RTA said it is hopeful work will be finished by the start of next year's NFL season.

"RTA apologizes for any inconvenience this closure may cause," the agency's statement read. "However, the safety of our riders, staff and the public remain our top priority."

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Sam Allard

Sam Allard is the Senior Writer at Scene, in which capacity he covers politics and power and writes about movies when time permits. He's a graduate of the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University and the NEOMFA at Cleveland State. Prior to joining Scene, he was encamped in Sarajevo, Bosnia, on an...
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