Army Corps Awards Contract, Cuyahoga Dredging to Begin Soon

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced Wednesday that it had awarded a contract to dredge the Cuyahoga River, following a court order last week to do so.

The $3.7 million contract has been awarded to Ryba Marine Construction, a company based in Cheboygan, Michigan. The work is expected to begin soon, though the Army Corps says it is still finalizing dates with the contractor. 

The contract represents progress after months of gridlock and bickering between the Corps and the Ohio EPA about who would pay for the dredging of the river. The Corps is responsible for maintaining the channel at a depth of 23 feet to keep commerce flowing — when the water is shallower, freighters need to unload cargo before they traverse the channel and shipments to ArcelorMittal are much smaller.

But the Corps' Federal Standard dictates that they should dump dredged material from the river into Lake Erie, a method the Corps says wouldn't harm the aquatic environment but which is vocally opposed by the Ohio EPA and the Port.  

The estimated cost difference between open lake disposal and disposal in confined disposal facilities (CDFs) along the lake is $2.1 million, according to the Corps. The Corps has agreed to front the extra costs, but will be reimbursed if they win a case against the State of Ohio in Federal Court. If the state wins, the Corps will pay the additional costs. 

Under the current contract, all material dredged from the river will be placed in a confined disposal facility. 

About The Author

Sam Allard

Sam Allard is the Senior Writer at Scene, in which capacity he covers politics and power and writes about movies when time permits. He's a graduate of the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University and the NEOMFA at Cleveland State. Prior to joining Scene, he was encamped in Sarajevo, Bosnia, on an...
Scroll to read more Cleveland News articles
Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state.
Help us keep this coverage going with a one-time donation or an ongoing membership pledge.


Join Cleveland Scene Newsletters

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.