CLEVELAND (WJW) – Cleveland residents were getting their first chance on Thursday to chime in on a plan to transform access to Lake Erie.

Mayor Justin Bibb hosted a town hall to gather feedback on four proposals to build the “North Coast Connector” — a land bridge that would connect Mall C and city hall to the lakefront.

Those who gathered looked at four plans: do nothing, build the bridge over the current Shoreway, turn the Shoreway into a boulevard near downtown or remove the Shoreway entirely.

The mayor said downtown and Cleveland neighborhoods have been cut off from the lake for too long.

Citizens will get the chance to provide their input at a series of listening sessions, which will be held over the next few weeks.

This comes as a new conversation is happening regarding the future of Burke Lakefront airport.

The City announced Thursday it was conducting an “economic development analysis” on the property to determine how the land could provide the most value.

“We will ask the consultant to consider a range of impact, such as jobs, tax benefits, property value, and business revenue,” said Cleveland’s Chief Integrated Development Officer Jeff Epstein. “This will give us a clear understanding of the airport’s economic benefit as well as how other potential uses of the land might benefit the City.” 

According to the City, the analysis will consider a range of options for alternate development of the airport, from a 445-acre park to mixed-use development at maximum density.