News
News Home
Quick Bites
Exploradio
News Archive
News Channel
Special Features
NPR
nowplaying
On AirNewsClassical
Loading...
  
School Closings
WKSU Support
Funding for WKSU is made possible in part through support from the following businesses and organizations.

NOCHE

Hennes Paynter Communications

Area Agency on Aging 10B, Inc.


For more information on how your company or organization can support WKSU, download the WKSU Media Kit.

(WKSU Media Kit PDF icon )


Donate Your Vehicle to WKSU

Programs Schedule Make A Pledge Member BenefitsFAQ/HelpContact Us
Environment


Big hammer drops on a Cuyahoga Falls dam
Another dam on the Cuyahoga River is down, more to go.
by WKSU's MARK URYCKI


Reporter
Mark Urycki
 
The "powerhouse dam" near the Sheraton Suites Hotel was cut and hammered into pieces this week.
Courtesy of MARK URYCKI
Download (WKSU Only)
In The Region:
In Cuyahoga Falls, construction crews have brought in the big hammer – and this week one of the dams on the Cuyahoga River has been all but obliterated.

Next week, the diesel-powered excavator will crawl upriver a quarter mile and tear down another dam. Officials hoped to demolish the two dams last year but heavy rains delayed work until last week.
LISTEN: The hammer comes down

Other options:
Windows Media / MP3 Download (4:48)


(Click image for larger view.)

"They got the big hammer out now.” 

Bill Zawiski of the Ohio EPA is watching a large yellow excavator with a hammer point punch holes into one of the two dams in downtown Cuyahoga Falls.

The first cutting began last Wednesday on the 1914 powerhouse dam attached to the Sheraton Suites Hotel. This is a $1 million project to remove two dams in hopes of restoring water quality and wildlife habitat on the Cuyahoga River, and city Service Director Valerie Wax Carr said things improved as soon as the water level dropped.

 “Almost everyone notices how much better the river smells already.”

  


After the demolition, the river’s velocity and water level will change as far back upriver as some three miles. The river is an important part of downtown Cuyahoga Falls and after 10 years of talks, Carr said the city finally agreed to embrace dam removal.

“We were supportive of it, but we told the EPA we’re not doing it unless we get someone else to pay for it.”

And the EPA is.  The money comes from a revolving loan fund, which uses investment interest to provide about $15 million a year available for such projects in Ohio. That’s how they were able to remove dams upriver in Munroe Falls and Kent. The EPA’s Zawiski says both fish and insects have rebounded after those projects and the same will happen here.

“The fish communities will go from carp to small-mouth bass. You’ll see folks able to wade into the stream. A lot more fly fisherman and then northern pike and small-mouth bass will be the dominant fish. “

A delicate operation
In fact, in their plans are two dams downstream – the so-called Ohio Edison dam and the Canal Diversion dam in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park under Route 82.  

Despite the power of the large jack-hammer, it’s a delicate operation taking down the two downtown dams. 

Take a look at the Cuyahoga Fall dam cam:
http://new.livestream.com/accounts/4516213/events/2204531

A worker uses diamond-bladed saws to separate the dam from the old powerhouse. Other crew members watch a seismograph to make sure vibrations don’t harm the attached Sheraton Suites Hotel. The man who built the hotel  and is a co-owner is Tom Dillon. He placed the hotel restaurant out over the river, years before most people embraced the waterway. He actually liked the dam but is hoping for the best.

“They say it’ll be the best water for kayaking within 250 miles. So that’ll be interesting to see and maybe more people will come to the region just to kayak.”  That might lead to fewer jokes by Garrison Keillor about Cuyahoga Falls. 

City officials are working with kayakers and other river groups to plan new access points to the river and the extension of their current boardwalk. And as the water level drops, some remnants of the city’s industrial past are revealed.

Holes in the bedrock show where old wooden mills and water wheels were attached. One old water wheel, believed to be from the 19th Century has been spotted on sonar but has not yet been recovered.  200 years ago the city had as many as 5 dams downtown with numerous mills.  These two dams were built shortly after the devastating flood of 1913. 

The old powerhouse, which the Sheraton uses as a patio will be saved. It still has large gates and generators inside.  Crews will pile concrete debris in front of it and add top soil to protect it from river flooding.

Listener Comments:

if you're referring to the pretenders song, it's A-O way to go ohio..


Posted by: swimmerbob (san diego) on June 28, 2015 9:06AM
Hey, ho! Way to go Ohio!


Posted by: Kevin (Wisconsin) on August 12, 2013 9:08AM
Add Your Comment
Name:

Location:

E-mail: (not published, only used to contact you about your comment)


Comments:




 
Page Options

Print this page

E-Mail this page / Send mp3

Share on Facebook




Stories with Recent Comments

Ohio becomes first in the nation to dump PARCC testing
Best test to use for elementary schools is the old pre common core Iowa test of basic skills. This test measures apples to apples and tests the skills appropri...

Ohio is moving forward with new standardized tests
Mr Chow, Nice piece on testing. Should not Ohio go to an open bid process for the new assessment contract? Ohio has stayed with a "connected" DC non-profit fo...

The Surpreme Court gay-marriage decision plays out in Ohio Amish country
Keep in mind that the majority of the people residing in Holmes County are Amish, a church people who do not vote because they do not believe in governmental ru...

Akron council committee recommends Forney for its opening
Which committee member voted for Wilhite?

Nearly a dozen Cuyahoga gay couples get licenses to marry after the Supreme Court ruling
Presiding Judge Anthony J. Russo a graduate of Chanel High School and supposed member of St. Francis Parish in Gates Mills has just excommunicated himself. As ...

Canton Youth Symphony is named orchestra of the year
This is what makes CSO the hippest small town orchestra in America!

What can be expected if Ohio's tobacco taxes increase?
let's face it! The increase has little to do with smoking cessation

Rare Cleveland Indians photo from 1911 hits the auction block
Paddy Livingston, who cut his teeth on a Louisville Slugger in Kent, Ohio was one of the immortals that played in that game. He was the catcher. Ty Cobb actuall...

Nexus denies Green's request to relocate its planned gas pipeline
These people have so much power. Too much. They could care less about the people they leave when it is done. Spectra does not, and admits, they do not do the...

Copyright © 2015 WKSU Public Radio, All Rights Reserved.

 
In Partnership With:

NPR PRI Kent State University

listen in windows media format listen in realplayer format Car Talk Hosts: Tom & Ray Magliozzi Fresh Air Host: Terry Gross A Service of Kent State University 89.7 WKSU | NPR.Classical.Other smart stuff. NPR Senior Correspondent: Noah Adams Living on Earth Host: Steve Curwood 89.7 WKSU | NPR.Classical.Other smart stuff. A Service of Kent State University