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Let the dams come down.
The city of Cuyahoga Falls now knows when two dams will be demolished on the Cuyahoga River, a demolition which could help turn the river into a water recreation hotspot.
Falls city engineer Tony DeMasi tells AkronNewsNow that the dams will be brought down by a contractor starting in mid-June...by a contractor who won't be using explosives to remove the dams...he'll be slicing the concrete and then removing the slices.
DeMasi says there's been a lot of interest about the river's future after the dams are gone, with kayaking and whitewater rafting two popular choices.
He says the city's hired a consultant to look into recreational uses, including possibly involving Cuyahoga Falls working with businesses along the river.
The demolition of the dams is being paid for by money from the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency.
Plans that could lead to white water rafting through Cuyahoga Falls are moving forward. Mayor Don Robart says everybody seems to be on the same page about the removal of two dams on the Cuyahoga River.
It's part of an Ohio Environmental Protection Agency directive that was made a few years ago, something that Robart was reluctant to accept. He now understands the ecological and economic benefits of the dam removals.
"Once these dams come down, we're going to see a whole different breed of fish," said Robart. "We're going to see a healthier river."
A meeting was held Wednesday night, when the 75 people in attendance were able to ask questions of city officials, the Ohio EPA and RiverWorks.
Robart is still planning to pursue an idea to offer white water rafting or kayaking on the river. He says the experts believe the stretch of the river that starts at the Sheraton Suites will be very challenging. The next closest Category 4 or 5 would be in West Virginia.
The mayor thinks other activities will also attract people to stop by Cuyahoga Falls and spend some money.
"I can clearly see a Zipline going down along the river, just another element adding to the excitement of this thing," said Robart.
The dam removals will take place this summer.
Authorities have determined 'ineffective brakes' caused the driver of a dump truck to crash into the Cuyahoga River last week.
The Ohio State Highway Patrol Motor Carrier Enforcement Unit conducted the inspection on the dump truck driven by Christopher Burgess, 41, of Ravenna, and found that he was unable to stop after his brakes failed.
Burgess died in the crash after police and eyewitnesses said he sacrificed his own life to avoid other motorists and pedestrians as he was traveling down Portage Trail near Akron-Peninsula Road on July 5.
His vehicle nearly missed the Valley Shopping Center before hitting a tree and then coming to a stop in the Cuyahoga River.
Akron Police Lieutenant Rick Edwards tells AkronNewsNow " There was a total of eight brakes on the tires of this vehicle. Two of them were completely inoperable, and there were three of them that were less than the state standards for a braking system."
Edwards says the defective brakes combined with a heavy load were too much for Burgess to overcome. " With the load he was carrying, the dirt and the sand (an estimated 14 to 16 tons) and hauling that down the incline of Portage Trail hill there was no way Mr. Burgess would have been able to stop that truck," says Edwards.
Cleveland's Port Authority approving a plan to clean up the Cuyahoga River.
Bit by bit.
The agency will spend more than $358-thousand dollars from a federal grant to build two special boats that will scoop up debris in the river, and transport it for disposal.
The Environmental Protection Agency noted the problem with debris -- manmade such as discarded tires, and natural such as tree limbs -- as one reason the Cuyahoga made it's national watch list.
(Cleveland Port Authority) The Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority has selected Lake Assault Boats, LLC to build two specialized aluminum work boats that will remove floating debris from the Cuyahoga River ship channel and the downtown Lake Erie shoreline.
The Port’s Board of Directors agreed today to enter into a contract for up to $358,058 with the Superior, Wisconsin company. The project is being funded by a $425,160 Great Lakes Restoration Initiative grant that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency awarded the Port last year.
“This is an important step in our efforts to ensure the long-term health of the ship channel for industrial, commercial and public uses of the river – as well as job growth and economic development,” said Port CEO Will Friedman. “We thank the EPA and our community partners for their key involvement in restoring the Cuyahoga River.”
The two boats – Flotsam and Jetsam – are expected to go into service by late summer. The Port developed the design concept and worked with naval architects on the specifications. The Port will own and operate the vessels.
Flotsam will use a shovel and mesh basket to scoop floating debris from the water and then load it into Jetsam’s special dumpsters for later disposal. Jetsam will also be equipped with a crane to lift small-and medium-sized logs and tires on board. The boats also are designed to tow a floating boom between them to easily and quickly gather debris.
The work will likely create up to five seasonal jobs.
Cuyahoga Falls officials have agreed to redo the bidding process for the removal of two dams on the Cuyahoga River.
The Beacon Journal reports Canton-based Beaver Excavating Co. protested the bidding process and claimed the city violated the state's competitive bidding laws.
City Council approved River Reach Construction's bid of $999,999 on Monday. Beaver Excavating's bid was about half the amount at about $490,000.
The city has agreed to redo the bidding process for the removal of the two dams on the Cuyahoga River including the "Powerhouse Dam" and the "Mill Dam."
Law Director Paul Janis told the Beacon Journal that the city agreed to rebid the project because some of the companies who bid on the project were confused about the "nature of the job."
The project was bid as a "design-build" project as opposed to a project that is designed first then bid separately.
The city plans to remove the dams to create ideal conditions for white water rafting and other water sports.
On the Web: www.ohio.com
Cuyahoga Falls city officials are ready to move ahead with plans to remove two dams from the Cuyahoga River in the first half of this year. City Council currently is discussing legislation that would have the city sign a contract with an Akron company to remove the dams.
Cuyahoga Falls Mayor Don Robart says removing the dams will allow the river to move more rapidly through his city, creating ideal conditions for white water rafting and other water sports.
Robart tells AkronNewsNow "We think the amount of people who will come into our city that are interested in white water rafting, canoeing, kayaking will increase. We envision a zip-line where you actually get into a harness, the gravity takes you down maybe a quarter mile or even more."
The Mayor says the city is looking to make the river a main attraction.
"It will provide a much more healthy river, a much more vibrant river, a river that will provide a tremendous amount of recreational opportunities for us. So we're really excited about it. We're exploring how we can benefit from that in terms of economic development," says Robart.
As for how long it will take to remove the dams Robart says "There are some technical aspects to it in terms of the power houses that reside next to the dams. But the actual removal of the dam itself isn't that big a deal. It could take literally only a couple of weeks."
Robart says a rejuvenated Cuyahoga River could draw businesses to the river banks that have never had a downtown presence, or have been missing from the city for years.
A park visitor dies after falling into the Cuyahoga River.
The Summit County Medical Examiner's Office reports 21-year-old Scott Bickel of North Royalton was found near the State Route 82 bridge in Sagamore Hills around 11 p.m.
A portion of the area surrounding the Rt. 82 dam was closed early this morning as Cuyahoga Valley National Park rangers investigated the incident.
The Cleveland Metro Parks, Sagamore Hills Police Department and the Northfield Center Fire Department are among the agencies that assisted in the investigation.
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