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Local Agencies Seek Federal Help to Save Irishtown Bend

[Tim Evanson / Shutterstock]
[Tim Evanson / Shutterstock]

Local agencies trying to save a crumbling stretch of land along the Cuyahoga River known as "Irishtown Bend" are now looking to the federal government for help.

"If you've ever seen any pictures of it you can see it move several inches to several feet over time," said Grace Gallucci, Executive Director of Northeast Ohio Areawide Coordinating Agency (NOACA).

The agency is working with the Port of Cleveland to try to nab an $11.5 million infrastructure grant from the U.S. Transportation Department. Galluci said the money will help jump start construction to help stabilize the land. The total cost of doing that is estimated to be around 28-million. 

Gallucci said the contrsurtciotn is needed because further erosion could have serious enviromental conseuqnces for the river. Additionaly, she said a major landslide could clog the river and bring shipping to a halt. "We're talking about $3.5 billion and 20,000 jobs that are generated locally by that maritime commerce."

Jade Davis, a spokesman for the Port Authority, said if the federal grant comes through, local development agencies will kick in an additional $10.5 million.

A decision on the grant is expected by next Spring. Until then, Davis said the Port Authority and its partners will continue to look for other sources of funding.