News Home
Quick Bites
News Archive
News Channel
Special Features
On AirNewsClassical
School Closings
WKSU Support
Funding for WKSU is made possible in part through support from the following businesses and organizations.

Greater Akron Chamber

Levin Furniture

Hennes Paynter Communications

For more information on how your company or organization can support WKSU, download the WKSU Media Kit.

(WKSU Media Kit PDF icon )

Donate Your Vehicle to WKSU

Programs Schedule Make A Pledge Member BenefitsFAQ/HelpContact Us
Economy and Business

Phase one of Cleveland's Inner Belt bridge project is over
With traffic starting to flow Saturday, some businesses under the new bridge are relieved

Kevin Niedermier
Third generation owner, Bernie Sokolowski says the ramp and street closings drove some customers away.
Courtesy of Kevin Niedermier
Download (WKSU Only)
In The Region:

After more than two years of work, the first phase of Cleveland’s major Inner Belt bridge project is finished. ODOT says west-bound traffic will begin flowing on Saturday.

Soon, demolition will begin on the original  54 year old bridge. And, thanks to new Ohio Turnpike funding, new eastbound replacement is scheduled to be finished in about three years.

 Until then, both east and west bound traffic will use the new bridge. As WKSU’s Kevin Niedermier reports, phase one’s competition is good news for the businesses underneath the massive construction project.

Click to listen

Other options:
Windows Media / MP3 Download (1:00)

Sokolowski’s University Inn has been serving food and drinks in the same location beside the bridge since 1923. Third-generation owner Bernie Sokolowski says the street and exit ramp closings hurt business, but, adjustments were made.

“Most people in Cleveland, I find, basically know how to get around and find a way. But there are those people that don’t want to change their patterns and only know one way, and you kind of lose those customers.
"But we’re very fortunate we have good customers that were able to stay ahead. But it was tough, and there were times when I was thinking if it was really worth it.”

Though additional streets and ramps will be closed as the bridge work continues, Sokolowski believes the worst of the disruptions are over. He says when the original bridge was built in the mid-1950s, his family’s business was just a bar. But they started serving food to the construction workers, and that transformed the establishment into a restaurant as well.


(Click image for larger view.)

Add Your Comment


E-mail: (not published, only used to contact you about your comment)


Page Options

Print this page

E-Mail this page / Send mp3

Share on Facebook

Stories with Recent Comments

Local club works to bring back the once-prevalent American elm
I would love to help! Where would I get some of the new Strain so I could plant them?

Ohio Rep. John Boccieri sworn into office and hopes to look for 'middle ground' with colleagues
Welcome back to the Statehouse, John. You are a terrific representative in the truest sense always representing the people's voice in teh district you serve. ...

Lawmakers call for indefinite freeze on Green Energy standards
It's a shame the Hudson Rep. Chooses to mimic the words of the extreme right senator on his way out to join ALEC when we know the Pope was just here because of...

Youngstown Schools file suit against the Ohio Department of Education to stop the implementation of an academic distress commission
Voters should ask WHY this plan was rushed into law under the cover of darkness. What clues point to the beneficiaries of this plan? Both Patrick O'Donnell of...

Great Lakes conference considers a range of threats
Your article states "Studies discovered over half of all PAHs found in the Great Lakes region come from a single source: Coal tar sealants.". I'm curious to whi...

ODOT awards Kent-based Davey Research Group nearly $50,000 to improve highway landscapes
This is an outrageous waste of taxpayer's money. Good for only Davey Tree and their cronies in the State government. It takes $50k to figure out the way to save...

Canton: another Northeast Ohio city is planning its comeback
Historic Ridgewood and the Stark Metropolitan Housing Authority have no seats at the table. Very flawed right out of the gate. Ridgewood pays a huge percentage...

Property owners oppose a wind farm in Northern Ohio
Here is a link, exposing the connivance of the fossil fuel industry, in trying to prevent us from moving away from their outdated, filthy, and expensive forms o...

A new industry in Ohio aims to repurpose river sediment
and where do those PCB's end up??the story never says

A safe space: How Northeast Ohio colleges try to fight sexual assault
Very good and thorough job on a very sensitive topic!

Copyright © 2015 WKSU Public Radio, All Rights Reserved.

In Partnership With:

NPR PRI Kent State University

listen in windows media format listen in realplayer format Car Talk Hosts: Tom & Ray Magliozzi Fresh Air Host: Terry Gross A Service of Kent State University 89.7 WKSU | NPR.Classical.Other smart stuff. NPR Senior Correspondent: Noah Adams Living on Earth Host: Steve Curwood 89.7 WKSU | NPR.Classical.Other smart stuff. A Service of Kent State University