Aug 28, 2023 - News

Irishtown Bend stabilization work begins

Sen. Sherrod Brown speaks at the groundbreaking event Friday, the Irishtown Bend hillside at his back.

Sen. Sherrod Brown speaks at the groundbreaking event Friday, the Irishtown Bend hillside at his back. Photo: Port of Cleveland

The Port of Cleveland broke ground Friday on the Irishtown Bend Hillside, setting the stage for its dramatic transformation.

Why it matters: Before it becomes a 23-acre park, stabilizing the eroding hillside is necessary to prevent layers of clay, soil and fill material from tumbling into the Cuyahoga River and closing the shipping channel.

Threat level: Erosion already caused the closure of Riverbed Street in 2007 and now threatens a key sewer line that services much of the west side.

What they're saying: "The danger that this hillside could catastrophically collapse into the shipping channel and impact our $4.7 billion maritime shipping economy and the 22,000 jobs it supports was very real," said Port CEO Will Friedman.

  • "Also a priority for the Port is maximizing the potential of Cleveland's waterfront — balancing tourism, public access, recreational uses and, of course, vital job-creating industrial uses."

Between the lines: The groundbreaking ceremony Friday came after two nights of storms, and Friedman said the threat of slope failure is most pronounced after heavy rains.

By the numbers: The $60 million stabilization project, with $14 million in federal funding, is being led by Cincinnati-based Goettle Inc.

What's next: The project is expected to take 18-24 months.

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