Cuyahoga County Lakefront Public Access Plan RFQ

Cuyahoga County is interested in engaging a talented project partner to assemble and create the Cuyahoga County Lakefront Public Access Plan in conjunction with the Cuyahoga County Planning Commission staff and leadership.

Proposal due date: July 17, 2020 by 2:00 p.m. EDT

Cover of the RFQ document
Cuyahoga County Lakefront Public Access Plan: Request for Qualifications

Shoreline overview map with focus areas (small, large)


On October 17, 2019, Cuyahoga County Executive Armond Budish announced his administration’s intention to create a Lakefront Public Access Plan. This plan, which will be rolled out in multiple phases with multiple project partners, will create, augment, and expand a multi-modal, active transportation network of connected paths, all-purpose trails, boardwalks, roads, bridges, and public access points across the lakefront of Cuyahoga County. This proposed Cuyahoga County Lakefront Public Access Plan will provide a comprehensive, integrated and connected network of transportation systems and provide better access to important Lake Erie shoreline assets. Currently, over 90% of the shoreline within the County is not publicly accessible. This transformative, forward-looking plan will positively impact the lives of residents and create economic development opportunities for the greater region by increasing public accessibility and increasing the resiliency of the lakefront.

Project Description & Goals

While it is anticipated that the Cuyahoga County Lakefront Public Access Plan will examine the entire lakefront, there are many initial areas of interest and focus. Lake Erie water levels have been at historic highs for several years now. Unseasonably warm winters have limited ice cover of the lake. Aging shoreline protection measures are not designed or able to mitigate the impacts of the year-round wave action of these high waters. As a result, significant public and private land has been lost to the sustained rising levels of the lake and the shoreline which is encroaching on transportation networks and public utilities – further limiting public access. Building upon past and current efforts of the Cuyahoga Greenways Plan (Cuyahoga County Planning Commission, Cleveland Metroparks, and NOACA (2019)), the ongoing Regional Lakefront Trail Connections Plan (NOACA), and the ongoing Cleveland Harbor Eastern Embayment Resilience Study (CHEERS) (Cleveland Metroparks, the City of Cleveland, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, the Ohio Department of Transportation, and the Port of Cleveland), it is the intent this Cuyahoga County Lakefront Public Access Plan to identify areas impacted by shoreline erosion in order to determine where and conceptually define what opportunities exist to improve transportation networks and increase public access to the lakeshore as part of shoreline stabilization and preservation efforts.

It is anticipated that the plan will include several Lakefront Focus Area Plans that will be identified during the existing conditions analysis. It is also recognized that Focus Area Plans will directly impact neighborhoods and potentially private property; therefore, a robust public engagement strategy will be critical to the success of this project. Further, given the restrictions placed on public gatherings due to COVID-19, Suppliers must show demonstrated success with their capacity and approach to conducting “virtual” meetings with clients, stakeholders and the general public.

Project Area

The 30-mile-long Lake Erie shoreline defines the northern boundary of Cuyahoga County. It traverses six jurisdictions (the Cities of Bay Village, Rocky River, Lakewood, Cleveland, Euclid, and the Village of Bratenahl) and three Cleveland Metroparks Reservations (Huntington, Lakefront (including Wendy Park, Edgewater, East 55th Street Marina, East 72nd Street/Gordon Park, and the lakefront portion of the Euclid Creek Reservation)). The Project Area is bounded on the north by Lake Erie, on the west by Lorain County, on the south by U.S. Route 6 (Lake Road) in Bay Village and Rocky River; U.S. Route 20 (Clifton Boulevard) in Lakewood and Cleveland; U.S. Route 6 Alt. (Detroit Road/Superior Avenue) in Cleveland; St. Clair Avenue in Cleveland; State Route 283 (Lake Shore Boulevard) in Cleveland, Bratenahl, and Euclid, and on the east by Lake County.

Q & A

  • Please note that the deadline for submissions is Friday, July 17, by 2:00 PM EDT.
    • The RFQ has been revised to reflect EDT instead of EST.
  • Is this the same lakefront project as that sponsored by the Northeast Ohio Areawide Coordinating Agency (NOACA)?
    • No; this Lakefront Public Access Plan will focus on stabilization and public access to the Cuyahoga County shoreline area, whereas the NOACA-sponsored project—the Regional Lakefront Transportation Connections Study–will focus on transportation improvements across Lorain, Cuyahoga, and Lake Counties.
  • What funding has been allocated (or planned) for the project and from what sources? And how does this project relate to the 2020 NOACA grant awards?
    • Cuyahoga County funding is being used for this project. The exact amount will depend on the Scope of Work negotiated. This Cuyahoga County Lakefront Public Access Plan has not received funding through the 2020 NOACA Transportation for Livable Communities (TLCI) program.
  • Will there be a Consultant Selection Team, and who will serve on it?
    • Yes; staff from the Cuyahoga County Planning Commission and the County Department of Public Works will serve on the Consultant Selection Team.
  • Is there a preference for local over national consultants?
    • No; the Consultant Selection Team intends to select the best qualified consultant(s) for this project regardless of location.
  • Is there an established timeframe for the project? Any key milestones or dates?
    • The project timeframe will be established with the selected team. We anticipate a 12-18 month initial project schedule.
  • Will the County shortlist best-qualified teams and ask those teams to submit fee proposals?
    • No; The Consultant Selection Team plans to select and negotiate with the top-ranked firm. If the Consultant Selection Team cannot reach agreement on fee with the top-ranked firm, the Team can move on to the next highest-ranked firm.
  • Is County Planning partnering with other public agencies on this project?
    • Yes; County Planning is partnering with the Cuyahoga County Department of Public Works, and will engage numerous public agencies in the course of this project.
  • Will the County form a ‘steering committee’ comprised of public agencies and lakefront communities to oversee the project?
    • Yes; County Planning will work with the selected consultant(s) to assemble a ‘Steering’ or ‘Stakeholder’ group as part of the planning process. In addition to public agencies and local governments, such a group could also include businesses, property owners, citizens groups, and others.
  • Does the County anticipate submitting a grant application – federal or state – to seek funding for the implementation of the Access Plan?
    • Yes; as part of the planning process, all potential funding resources, including federal and state, will be explored for implementing the Plan.
  • Which is more important to this project—process or product?
    • Both process and product are important outcomes for this project. The Consultant Selection Team expects that consultants will review the Request for Qualifications and respond with an approach that includes a distinct planning and public engagement process, and will deliver a plan that can be implemented successfully.
  • Is transit access anticipated to be a key element of the work?
    • Yes; it is expected that the selected consultant(s) will consider multi-modal transportation options (to include transit and active transportation) as part of gaining public access to the lakefront. The Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Agency (GCRTA) will be an active participant in this project.
  • Regarding references, does each partner on a team have to provide 3 to 5 references?
    • If submitting as a team, the submittal should include 3 to 5 references in total; the team can divide as necessary between them.
  • Will County Planning provide a list of those attendees from the Pre-Qualifications Conference held on July 8, 2020?
    • Yes; County Planning requests that all who attended send a confirmation email to A list will be provided to all confirmed attendees and posted to the project webpage.
  • Will Geographic Information System (GIS) data be made available to the selected consultant(s)?
    • Yes; GIS data is available through the Cuyahoga County Fiscal Office, County Planning, NOACA, ODOT, and other resources.
  • Are upland features, and areas outside of the delineated Project Area, important to this project?
    • Yes; the Project Area is geographically diverse with neighborhoods, commercial districts, parks, numerous watersheds and riparian corridors, and developed upland areas that impact the Lake Erie shoreline and should be considered as part of the lakefront public access analysis.

List of Responders

Deadline: Friday, July 17, 2020 at 2:00 p.m. EDT

Date ReceivedTime Received (EDT)Responder Team
Lead ConsultantSubconsultant(s)
7/17/202010:09 a.m.SmithGroupThird Space Action Labs, WSP, Allison Lukacsy-Love, CTL, Ohio Valley Archeological
7/17/202010:27 a.m.CallisonRTKLArcadis, SB Friedman, Cobalt Group
7/17/202012:43 p.m.Agency Landscape + PlanningAllison Lukacsy-Love, Nspiregreen, OHM Advisors, W.F. Baird & Associates
7/17/20201:48 p.m.Environmental Planning & DesignKonveio, JMT, and Specialists Richard B. Rood, PhD and Andrew D. Gronewald, PhD
7/17/20201:54 p.m.MKSKToole, Jacobs, Biohabitats, Osborn Engineering, HR&A, Guide, Regency