Dredging Of Cuyahoga River Underway

Dredging vessel photo by Flickr.com's Karen Rice.
Dredging vessel photo by Flickr.com's Karen Rice.

Dredging has begun on a six-mile stretch of the Cuyahoga River that connects the waterway to Cleveland Harbor.  

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) says it's hired a Michigan contractor to remove sediment from the river bed between now and mid-July…at a cost of roughly $1.8 million.  

Dredging helps commercial shipping traffic by keeping the river deep enough for container ships and similar vessels to pass through.

Corps spokesman Bruce Sanders says when all the dredge work is done, a total of 180,000 cubic yards will have been gathered.


CDF photo by USACOE Public Affairs.

"To put that into perspective, a standard dump truck, that we see on the streets all the time? Usually holds ten cubic yards," says Sanders. "So...that'd be roughly equivalent to what?  18,000 dump trucks."

Sanders adds that the sediment will be placed into what are called confined disposal facilities (CDFs), near Burke Lakefront Airport.  Legal disputes have centered on whether or not the Corps should do open dumping of sediment into Lake Erie.

Earlier this month, a federal judge ordered the Corps to dredge the six-mile expanse of river leading up to the ArcelorMittal Steel plant, while the court continues to review a lawsuit filed by the State of Ohio.  

The suit addresses cost and environmental concerns over dredging plans previously outlined by the Corps. 

The Corps has said it will not do open lake dumping this year, but has not said what plans may be in place for 2016.

Story by ideastream's Brian Bull.

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