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.