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Shaker Heights' Horseshoe Dam removal set to reduce flooding

Horseshoe Lake, June 2021.
Annie Wu
/
Ideastream Public Media
Horseshoe Lake, June 2021.

The Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District has announced plans to move ahead with the design phase for the deconstruction of the 150-year-old Horseshoe Dam in Shaker Heights. Officials are concerned the dam could fail despite repairs to the dam’s spillway and lowering the level of the lake behind it.

Frank Greenland is the Director of Watershed Programs at the Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District. He says the district does not see flood-control benefits from rebuilding the dam.

Frank Greenland: Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District
Why dam will be removed instead of reconstructed
Frank Greenland

“The real driver behind why is the district recommending its removal and won’t pay for the reconstruction centers on the mission of the Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District’s Storm water Management Program, which is to alleviate flooding, erosion and other water-quality related issues,” Greenland said.

Horseshoe Lake Dam Assessment Sign
Annie Wu
/
Ideastream Public Media

He says the sewer district still needs to study the amount of sediment trapped behind the dam and come up with a plan for removing invasive plant species in the area.

The design phase is expected to begin in April, and the district will be seeking public input.

The project is expected to cost $28 million.

Corrected: February 24, 2022 at 10:21 AM EST
This story originally incorrectly stated the cost of reconstructing the dam was $1.4 billion. The Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District says that figure represents the cost of all needed stormwater projects in Greater Cleveland.

Jay Shah is an aspiring broadcast journalist pursuing a Master of Arts in media and journalism at Kent State University. Jay’s student media career began as an undergraduate student at Old Westbury Web Radio (OWWR) of the State University of New York College at Old Westbury. She is passionate about raising community awareness on social justice, and environmental issues as well as local music and art. Her spare time involves attending local music showcases, experimenting with weird food combinations and painting. Jay wishes to use her journalistic abilities for providing a voice to the voiceless.