From the Cleveland Plain Dealer
Gorge Dam demolition and cleanup moves ahead with new agreement
Updated 4:11 PM; Posted 4:08 PM
AKRON, Ohio – A working group of government and environmental officials on Thursday unveiled the second phase of a four-part plan to remove the Gorge Dam from the Cuyahoga River in Summit County.
The cooperative agreement will create a plan to manage the removal of tons of contaminated sediment that has accumulated behind the dam for more than a century, as well as other studies related to habitat restoration for the river after the dam is removed.
The Friends of the Crooked River, a grassroots group dedicated to supporting the river, has called the 400-foot wide, 60-feet tall dam an “obsolete hunk of concrete” and the single greatest unresolved water quality problem on the Cuyahoga River.
The Gorge Dam crosses the Cuyahoga River in the Gorge Metro Park on the border between Akron and Cuyahoga Falls, creating a mile-long pool of water and drastically changing the river’s chemistry.
“This is the best possible news,” said Elaine Marsh, a watershed specialist with the Summit Metro Parks and facilitator for the Gorge Dam Removal Stakeholder Committee.
“To us it’s like the checkered flag at the start of a race. We’ve been lined up for years, and now we’re ready to take off and head toward the finish line,” Marsh said.