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Great Lakes Restoration Initiative Gives Grant to Akron to Remove Gorge Dam

A photo of the Gorge Dam.
The Gorge Dam is expected to be removed by 2022.

The city of Akron is getting a $1 million grant from the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative to help pay for removing the Gorge Dam from the Cuyahoga River. Environmental Protection Agency administrator Andrew Wheeler announced the funds during a visit to Akron Tuesday.

Akron Mayor Dan Horrigan said the city will continue to work with stakeholders and partners to help secure the rest of the funds for the $65 million project.  

The first step is to haul away sediment built up behind the dam. Horrigan expects that to begin early next year.

“I’m thinking 12 to 18 months on sediment removal ...," Horrigan said. "We’ll get a good design and be able to do that. And we’re hoping as far as an outside timetable to have that dam down by the end of 2022."

Removal of the dam will improve the river’s water quality and ecosystem. Restoration to the river and the surrounding area is expected to be completed by the end of 2024.

Abigail Bottar covers Akron, Canton, Kent and the surrounding areas for Ideastream Public Media.