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Gorge Dam Project Inches Forward

Gorge Dam in Cuyahoga Falls is a step closer to being removed.

A contractor has been selected to plan the next phase in the removal of the massive concrete dam that blocks the Cuyahoga River at Gorge Metro Park.

It’s an important step in creating a free flowing river.

Environmental regulators have long claimed that the Gorge dam keeps the Cuyahoga in violation of the Clean Water Act.

Behind the century-old dam is a lake full of contaminated sediment that need to be safely removed.

Designing that process is the task of CH2M, a Colorado-based construction firm with expertise in environmental cleanup.

Summit MetroPark’s watershed specialist Elaine Marsh says planning the sediment removal could take up to two years. “It’s one foot in front of the other, one step at a time. This is the design phase, and that is exclusively what we’re looking at right now.”

Once the design phase is completed, Marsh says removal of the sediment and the dam itself can begin.

The entire project will cost around $70 million, coming in part from federal Great Lakes restoration funding.