Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Cuyahoga Dredging Plans to Affect Port Move and Downtown Development / WCPN.org

Cuyahoga Dredging Plans to Affect Port Move and Downtown Development / WCPN.org

There's a summit going on in Downtown Cleveland this week that's all about dredging. That might sound a tad dry, but what they're talking about could have a big impact on the Port of Cleveland's potential relocation and lakefront development. ideastream®'s Dan Bobkoff dug this up for us.

In order to keep the Cuyahoga River deep enough for ships, the Army Corps of Engineers dredges the waterway each year. Generally, all that material is put in designated places in Lake Erie and there’s enough of it to create new land masses.

For instance, Dike 14, is a nature preserve created out of dredging material from the river.

But in two years, the Army Corps is expected to run out of space at its current locations, so it’s looking for a new place to dump. All this comes as the Port is considering moving to a location just north of E 55th street, making way for a planned mixed use development on the waterfront downtown. Bob Brown is Cleveland’s planning director.

BROWN: The idea is that since the Army Corps has to build a new land mass in the lake anyway-they have to do it to keep the river open-why not make double use of that and have it serve its main purpose, and also, potentially, become the new home for the port of Cleveland.

In other words, where they put dredged up earth in the next couple of years, will dictate a lot about the location, size, and shape of a new port over the long term. The Port plans to create a task force out of the summit to help make some of these decisions.