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Dead Man's Curve Caught On Tape!

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Published on Sep 14, 2012

"Dead Man's Curve" is the unofficial but commonly used name given to hazardous curves on Interstate Highways and other roads in the United States that have claimed lives because of accidents. One such curve is the nearly 90-degree turn on Interstate 90 near downtown Cleveland, Ohio, officially the Innerbelt Curve, at the point where the Cleveland Memorial Shoreway connects to the Innerbelt Freeway at a modified trumpet interchange just south of Burke Lakefront Airport. The advisory speed is 35 miles per hour (60 kilometers per hour), although the maximum speed limit is 50 mph (80 km/h), as on adjacent sections of the Shoreway and Innerbelt.

Dead Man's Curve was constructed as part of the Innerbelt project in 1959. At the time, Interstate 90 had been planned to continue westward on the Shoreway, connecting with its current location via the never-built Parma Freeway. It soon became apparent that the curve was too sharp for travel at typical Interstate speeds, and in 1965, the state lowered the speed limit from 50 mph (80 km/h) to 35 mph (56 km/h). Four years later, authorities completed the first set of safety retrofits, which included banking the curve and installing rumble strips and large signs.

According to the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT), the crash rate on the Innerbelt (which includes Dead Man's Curve) is two to three times the regional average for urban freeways, despite the reduced speed limits on the roadway. The department is investigating ways of enhancing safety on the stretch, including a complete realignment of the roadway to reduce the degree of the curve. According to a 2003 ODOT count, 95,090 vehicles travel on the curve every day.
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