Airport Tunnel

 Airport Tunnel

CLEVELAND -- On July 17, 2012, the Board of Trustees of the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority (RTA) approved resolution #2012-63.

It awarded a $10.1 million contract to the Kokosing Construction Co, Inc. of Westerville, OH, to restore and improve the drainage, track, structure and safety systems of a Red Line rail tunnel tunnel under Cleveland Hopkins International Airport.

Federal funds covered about 80 percent of the total cost.

Current status

Direct rail service was restored on June 9,  2013. The tunnel closed on Nov. 27, 2012.  While the tunnel was closed, RTA operated bus service between the east side bus loop area of the Brookpark Rapid Station and the limo staging area by the short-term parking garage at the Airport terminal, adjacent to the Rapid Station.

Project background

The Red Line tracks enter a tunnel under State Route 237 and continue under an airport access road and a parking lot. The 1,628 feet long tunnel ends at RTA's Airport Station.

The construction improved safety and restored the tunnel structure, track and drainage systems. The drainage system was not working as well as it should, and often created muddy tracks. At 44 years old, the tunnel was near the end of its useful life.

Construction goals:

  • Clean existing drainage pipes and replace damaged ones.
  • Install a trench drainage system at the tunnel entrance.
  • Replace existing drainage pumps and controls.
  • Replace the wood tie and stone ballast track structure with a concrete slab and integral blocks or "plinths" to support the rails.
  • Repair structure roof and wall joints, including the concrete retaining walls at the entrance.
  • Replac and restore the ventilation system fans and controls.
  • Relocateg the signal and communication cable conduits.
  • Install a hand-operated "paddle" system to shut off the overhead power in the event of an emergency.