Case Western Reserve University Nord Family Greenway
Long-overlooked, a 20.3 acre stretch of land west of the Cleveland Museum of Art (CMA) at the south end of Rockefeller Park is being transformed into a 2,200-foot long, 300-foot wide green space of lawn, pathways, trees and terraces. The $15M Nord Family Greenway serves as a bridge linking the eastern and western halves of Case Western Reserve University (CWRU) and CMA. It includes an event lawn, an amphitheater with sloped grass steps, a paved walkway and a cantilevered bridge and overlook of Doan Brook. Designed by Sasaki Associates, the project exemplifies the ideals of connection and community central to CWRU’s 2015 master plan.
Sasaki’s design provides for open space to promote the natural beauty of the area, accessible and intuitive pedestrian circulation, and spaces that welcome a range of community activities. But as with all projects, challenges had to be addressed such as moving people safely across East Boulevard, MLK Boulevard, East 105th Street and a section of Doan Brook.
The primary solution at MLK and East 105th is an extra-wide crosswalk, new curb cuts and striping, and installing a traffic light. MLK will be narrowed in the area of the greenway to eliminate parking lanes where stationary cars might obstruct drivers’ views of pedestrians (or pedestrians’ views of moving vehicles). This portion of the roadway will feature pedestrian-activated warnings. East Boulevard won’t be narrowed because CMA patrons need the parallel parking spaces, but pedestrian-activated warning signals will be added.
Serving as the electrical engineer on the project, Tec’s electrical design involved implementing a wireless lighting control system for the greenway lights (GE LightGrid Outdoor Wireless Control System) that required special coordination with CWRU, Sasaki, and GE to come up with a zoned lighting plan that met the needs of the project. Tec also provided coordination and design of power responsibilities between CPP, CWRU, and CMA for items such as traffic crosswalks, parking lot gates, and donor signs required a “everyone needs to know” communications approach between Tec, Sasaki, CWRU, CMA, and the electrical contractor. The power distribution design was a unique electrical design challenge because of existing conditions and undocumented infrastructure. Through field observations and ongoing communications with utility providers, Tec was able to meet the power distribution challenges of the project while meeting the lighting control expectations of the College.