The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) has agreed to dredge the full six miles of the lower Cuyahoga River and the Port of Cleveland. The project started yesterday and will continue through mid-July.
Sediment removed from the channel will be placed into confined disposal facilities (CDFs), near Burke Front Airport, Cleveland, OH.
USACE had previously agreed to dredge the first five miles of the lower Cuyahoga River, clearing and depositing an estimated 45,000 cubic yards of dredged material into a confined disposal facility (CDF) at a cost of $294,550. The final mile was previously contested, requiring the removal of an estimated 180,000 cubic yards of dredged material at an cost of $1.485 million.
Dredging the Cuyahoga River Federal Navigation Channel is necessary to enable delivery of essential raw materials to Arcelor Mittal Cleveland, one of the largest integrated steel mills in the U.S. located at the head of navigation on the Cuyahoga River. This facility employs approximately 1,900 workers with more than 13,000 indirect and secondary jobs dependent on the facility.
“USACE fully recognizes the importance of dredging Cleveland Harbor to maintain the federal navigation channel for safe navigation and economic viability of the region,” said LTC Karl Jansen, USACE Buffalo District commander.
A federal judge ruled this week that USACE must fully dredge the Cleveland Harbor and Cuyahoga River shipping channel, pending the resolution of an Ohio state lawsuit to determine whether the state or USACE would bear the final cost of full dredging and responsible disposal.