CLEVELAND, Ohio --
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), Buffalo District is making more than $16 million in upgrades to the breakwaters that protect critical infrastructure in Cleveland Harbor.
As part of multiple projects, repairs and extensions are being made to portions of the more than five-mile-long structure which allows for navigation between the City of Cleveland and Lake Erie. This ensures the harbor’s ongoing value to the local and national economy.
“Lake Erie is a source of pride for Ohio, and the Cleveland Harbor plays a critical role for local businesses, local jobs, and the local ecosystem,” said Sen. Sherrod Brown. “This investment will ensure ships can continue moving cargo through our ports while also protecting the health of Lake Erie for businesses and residents alike.”
“Navigation of our nation’s waterways was one of the first missions of the Corps of Engineers and remains just as vital today. We’re proud to support the Cleveland community in making sure its public infrastructure continues to facilitate economic growth, quality of life, and national security,” said Lt. Col. Eli Adams, commander of the Buffalo District.
Repair and extension of the Cleveland East Breakwater began in July and was completed October 8 by the Buffalo District and its contractor, Geo. Gradel Company. The $1.81 million project consisted of installing approximately 135 lineal feet of steel sheet pile wall, casting approximately 1,900 square feet of reinforced concrete cap, and placing armor stone along approximately 162 lineal feet of the breakwater structure.
Work on the Cleveland West Breakwater began in July 2020 and was completed in December 16 by the Buffalo District and its contractor Kokosing Industrial, Inc. The $6.47 million project consisted of constructing 390 linear feet of parallel steel sheet pile walls along the west breakwater.
An additional $8.152 million contract was awarded to Dean Marine & Excavating, Inc. in September 2021 for repairs to the apron and parapet of another section of the Cleveland West Breakwater. This project will include construction of approximately 204 lineal feet of steel sheet pile wall, removal of approximately 1,824 linear feet of concrete, and casting of approximately 4,812 cubic yards of reinforced concrete cap along the breakwater structure. Construction is expected to begin July 1, 2022 and last five and a half months.
These projects are 100% federally funded under operations and maintenance authorization from the River and Harbor Acts and Water Resources Development Acts.
In 2019, Cleveland Harbor handled 11.9 million tons of cargo, including iron ore (58%), limestone (21%) and cement and concrete (7%). Waterborne transportation facilitated by the harbor supports $545.7 million in business revenue, 2,391 direct, indirect and induced jobs, and $183.8 million in labor income to the national transportation sector.
USACE’s protective structure repair program, which provides ongoing maintenance and repair of structures like the Cleveland breakwaters, must be adequately funded to remain viable and ensure safe navigation. Breakwaters, piers and jetties also provide coastal erosion and flood risk management benefits to public and private property in and around their harbors.
The Buffalo District delivers world class engineering solutions to the Great Lakes region, the Army and the Nation in order to ensure national security, environmental sustainability, water resource management, and emergency assistance during peace and war.