Rediscover Veterans Memorial Bridge
Phase One of Rediscover Veterans Memorial Bridge
Rediscover Veterans Memorial Bridge is a Cuyahoga County led initiative to reopen the historic streetcar level of the bridge. The space offers unparalleled views of the industrial valley and Lake Erie but is an underutilized 3,112- foot empty walkway. The streetcar level is well maintained and has been sporadically programmed with public events and temporary installations over the past fifteen years.
The Veterans Memorial Bridge is a two-tier through arch bridge, 1.2 km in length, completed in 1918. At that time, it was hailed as the world’s largest double-deck reinforced concrete bridge. Streetcars ran on the lower level of the bridge until 1954. The bridge connects the east and west banks of the Cuyahoga River and is situated between the industrial flats and the city’s central business district.
With support from the Cleveland Foundation, Cuyahoga County is looking for artists to design an immersive experience using light, sound, technology, and performances to create a memorable and transformative experience for visitors in June 2024. We are seeking artists to highlight the bridge’s possibilities as a public space and connector, while engaging with the indeterminate qualities of the bridge, its surroundings, and the districts it connects. Past bridge events have attracted thousands of people. This immersive experience should be designed to appeal to people of all ages, races, and ethnicities.
Cuyahoga County will provide access to the space for concept design, installation, and removal. The County will obtain the necessary City and State permits for use of the space, assistance with event logistics, event promotion and outreach to the nearby neighborhoods.
Open to all local, national, and international artists and groups who have been involved with previous immersive experiences relevant to the scale or context of the bridge.
$50,000 for concept design, materials, installation, staff travel/accommodations, and performance costs.
Proof of insurance meeting the requirements of Cuyahoga County in the name of the organization, entity, or individual applying, must be included with the proposal. This will include a Certificate of Liability Insurance in an amount not less than One Million Dollars, from an insurance carrier licensed to do business in the State of Ohio, indicating “Cuyahoga County and Its employees” as an “additionally named insured”. Additional insurance type and coverage levels may be required by Cuyahoga County upon evaluation of the winning proposal.
Proposals will be evaluated on artistic excellence, artistic capacity, and experience. The proposal must include a summary of your approach to the project as well as a concise statement of your interest and what you envision for the space. Include examples of previous work and a brief statement of your administrative capacity to manage a budget and meet deadlines. Please use the site map to plan placement installations and performances.
Proposal Due Date – Friday, December 15, 2023, by 11:00 AM (EST)
All proposals must be submitted via email or hard copy mailed/ hand-delivered to: Cuyahoga County Department of Public Works 2079 E. 9th Street, 5th Floor Cleveland, OH 44115 Attn: Sheila Obrycki
Email (size limit is 30 MB): RVMB@cuyahogacounty.us
Sheila Obrycki, Cuyahoga County Department of Public Works
Pre-Proposal Meeting and Site Walk
If interested, there will be a pre-proposal meeting and site walk of the Veterans Memorial Bridge on Wednesday, November 29, 2023, at 11:00 AM. RSVP is required. Please send email requests to RVMB@cuyahogacounty.us or call 216-443-7545 to reserve your space.
This summer, more than 9,000 residents and visitors enjoyed a weekend of activities to showcase and explore the possibilities for the underside of the Veterans Memorial Bridge.
Friday, June 23, 2023: The public participated in a conversation with local leaders and other residents about their vision for creating public access to the underside of the bridge.
Saturday, June 24, 2023: The Veterans Memorial Bridge and Subway Tour returned for one day only! This free, self-guided tour allowed visitors to experience the original streetcar station and tracks, unique views of the Cuyahoga River, Lake Erie, and downtown Cleveland. Visitors also explored ideas to reactivate the underside of the bridge for future pedestrian use and could provide feedback on how they believe the space could best serve residents and visitors.
Have ideas for transforming this space? We want to hear from you!
- Construction started in the fall of 1912. The bridge was constructed from 2,123,300 cubic yards of concrete, 9,385,000 pounds of reinforcing steel and 8,500,000 pounds of structural steel for the steel arch.
- In 1918, the Veterans Memorial Bridge was celebrated as the world’s largest double-deck reinforced concrete bridge.
- In 1974, the Veterans Memorial Bridge was listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
- The bridge is 96 feet tall and 3,112 feet long, connecting Detroit and Superior Avenues over the Cuyahoga River Valley in downtown Cleveland.
- The bridge consists of 12 concrete arches, varying in size from 58 feet to 174 feet, and an overhead steel arch span that is 591 feet long and 196 feet tall.