Rocky River officials are getting ready to breathe new life into the cracked and decaying pier at Bradstreet’s Landing on Lake Road.
City Council was expected to approve a $2.9 million contract to begin reconstructing the pier during a meeting held Monday. If approved, work will begin in October and is expected to wrap next fall, said Safety Service Director Rich Snyder.
“The pier and the park itself is an asset for the community, so it’s important for us to open it as soon as possible,” he said. “We’re really looking forward to that.”
D.R.S. Enterprises Inc. of Garfield Heights will oversee the project. Crews will work on removing parts of the pier and reinforcing what's left with stainless-steel sheeting. Next they will install metal plates around the structure and fill it with concrete. The pier will also be extended inland to make it wheelchair accessible.
New railings and lights will also be installed. While the project is grand in scale, Mayor Pam Bobst believes that the pier will not hinder the view of Lake Erie.
“This pier will celebrate the lake, not detract from it,” she said. “It has a simple design to highlight all of the views that have made it a focal point in our community for so long.”
The park will still be open to the public during construction, but access to the beach will be limited, Snyder said.
The project will be paid for using a mix of county and local dollars. The city will use $1.11 million it received from Cuyahoga County’s Community Development Fund. The rest of the project will be paid for through the city's general fund.
This is the first of a multiple-phase project. Next summer, officials hope to begin work on a pedestrian bridge on the east end of the park, which will be completed in the fall. Once the pier and bridge are finished, the park's layout is next. Overall, the project is expected to go through 2022, Snyder said.
In 2018, the 596-foot-long pier, popular with sightseers and anglers, was declared unsafe after an investigation by the city. The unstable structure sits fenced off from public use. Waves from Lake Erie frequently thrash against its crumbling concrete, missing supports and fractured steel panels.
Since then, the project has been in limbo for two years as agencies such as the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Ohio Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers examined the water quality and how construction would affect the park’s shoreline.
Bradstreet’s Landing is named after Col. John Bradstreet (1714-1774), who led a fleet of 1,500 men, 60 boats and nine canoes past what is now the shore of Northeast Ohio on the way to Fort Niagara in New York. Rough waters ravaged the fleet, forcing it to make an emergency landing at the park.
To honor the legacy of the park, a massive bronze medallion of Bradstreet’s ship will be placed into the walkway of the pier. Historic signage will also be placed throughout the park telling the story of Bradstreet and his fleet, Bobst said.
“We want to make sure that Col. Bradstreet and what he went through is not lost to time,” she said.
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