Support Local Journalism. Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Ingenuity Turning Detroit-Superior Bridge Into a Waterfall

Posted By on Mon, Sep 20, 2010 at 2:26 PM

Soon to be site of a waterfall. No, really, a real waterfall.
  • Soon to be site of a waterfall. No, really, a real waterfall.

If you see thousands of gallons of water running off the Detroit — Superior Bridge this week, don’t panic. It’s just Ingenuity’s dramatic new water feature.

Ethiopian —born Cleveland artist Kidist Getachew, working with Michael Lehto and John Thomas—conceived the waterfall as an extravagant display of Great Lakes water wealth, which starkly contrasts the situation in her homeland. It promises to make quite a splash, dumping 5,000 gallons of water per minute in a band 48 to 60 feet wide off the deck of the bridge 130 feet into the Cuyahoga River down below.

The project required approvals from the Coast Guard, Ohio Environmental Protection Agency, the City of Cleveland Division of Water, Flats Oxbow, and the Cuyahoga County Engineer’s office—all of which finally came together at about 4 p.m. Friday afternoon—just one week before the festival’s opening this Friday.

“We are really interested in celebrating water wealth in stark contrast with so many other parts of the world,” Lehto said. “We hope that is a strong point for the city’s future when water is going to be a more precious commodity.”

The water will come from a 12” water main, which the division of water had planned to flush out anyway. Instead of running it into the gutter via fire hydrants, they’ll route it up the bridge, into a series of boxes that will serve as reservoirs, spilling off the side of the bridge in a wide cascade to the river.

That’s why the EPA had to get involved. City water has chlorine in it, and you can’t just dump that into the river.

“Its good enough for us to drink but not good enough to put back in the river,” Lehto said.

The artists hope the project will help raise money to support an Ethiopian village’s effort to drill a well. To find out how to help or learn more about the project, go to
The Ingenuity Festival runs opens with a parade starting at Playhouse Square at 4 p.m. Friday and continues til 1 a.m. Saturday, then noon Saturday to 1 a.m. Sunday, then noon to 5 p.m. Sunday on the Subway level of the Detroit Superior Bridge. Free. Go to for information. —Michael Gill

Tags: ,

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Cleveland Scene. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Cleveland Scene, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at [email protected].

Support Local Journalism.
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. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club for as little as $5 a month.

Read the Digital Print Issue

January 26, 2022

View more issues


Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

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


© 2022 Cleveland Scene: 737 Bolivar Rd., Suite 4100, Cleveland, OH 44115, (216) 505-8199
Logos and trademarks on this site are property of their respective owners.

Website powered by Foundation