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Environment


Ohio Edison dam may be next tear-down target
But cost of demolition and sediment removal could be extremely high.
by WKSU's MARK URYCKI


Senior Reporter
Mark Urycki
 
The Ohio Edison dam in Gorge Metro Park between Akron and Cuyahoga Falls is about 60 feet high.
Courtesy of MARK URYCKI
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In The Region:
As two dams on the Cuyahoga River are being demolished in downtown Cuyahoga Falls, the river’s natural bedrock is being exposed. But the removal of a bigger dam downstream would reveal the actual falls for which the city was named.
LISTEN: The future of the Ohio Edison dam

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The Ohio EPA has been trying to remove the Ohio Edison dam since 2005. The dam between on the Cuyahoga River between Akron and Cuyahoga Falls once generated electricity for Ohio Edison and holds back 34 acres of placid water and about 800 thousand cubic yards of sediments.
Hidden under that water is a 25-foot double falls the city took is named after. After two years of tests, the EPA has determined that the sediment is not toxic.
But the agency’s Bill Zawiski says you still can’t just tear down the dam.

“You basically look at it as a plug or a landslide of sediment that at some places is over 30-feet thick. Independent of the chemistry, physically it would swamp sections of the rocks and substrates in the lower Cuyahoga. And that’s not acceptable from a habitat standpoint.”

Now the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is performing a cost analysis for removing the silt and the dam. Zawiski says it will be many times the $1 million cost of the two downtown dams. 

"It’s going to be a very big bake sale-car wash," he jokes.

Past estimates range as high as $60 million just to remove the sediment. And unlike the hollow downtown dams, the 60-foot-high Edison dam is solid concrete.

(Click image for larger view.)

Listener Comments:

Or, if you're not going to tear it down, at least hook it up to the grid so the electricity it generates can be used!


Posted by: Kathleen (Cuyahoga Falls) on January 7, 2014 1:01AM
TEAR IT DOWWWWNNNNN!! Give back to mother nature


Posted by: Mike (Cuyahoga Falls) on August 13, 2013 12:08PM
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