Corps of Engineers Completes Nearly $20 Million in Cleveland Harbor Maintenance

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Buffalo District
Published Dec. 11, 2023
Updated: Dec. 11, 2023
A red crane drops dredged sediment in a scow floating on a river channel.

A dredging vessel crane fills a barge with material pulled from the bottom of the Cuyahoga River while performing maintenance dredging, Cleveland, Ohio, Nov. 15, 2023. USACE’s Civil Works mission - including dredging - provides a key foundational component of the nation’s public infrastructure that facilitates economic growth, quality of life, environmental health and national security for the American people. (U.S. Army photo by Dave Bala)

A breakwater structure surrounded by water in Lake Erie and Cleveland Harbor.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Buffalo District has completed repairs to the Cleveland west breakwater from damage caused by age and storms on Lake Erie, Cleveland, Ohio, Oct. 10, 2023. The repairs will ensure safe navigation for commercial and recreational vessels travelling on the Great Lakes and the Cuyahoga River. (U.S. Army photo by Andre' M. Hampton)

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Buffalo District completed $19.5 in maintenance and repairs to Cleveland Harbor in 2023.

This year’s work included annual maintenance dredging in the Cuyahoga River and significant repairs to the harbor’s more-than century old breakwater, ensuring safe access for vessels, the flow of commodities across the Great Lakes, and the economic viability of the nation’s waterways.

“The Corps of Engineers mission to support navigation is one of its most critical,” said Lt. Col. Colby Krug, USACE Buffalo District commander. “We’re proud to have completed these projects and ensure Cleveland’s public infrastructure can support quality of life, the economy, and national security.”

“The Cleveland Harbor is vitally important to Northeast Ohio and to the entire Great Lakes Region. Thank you to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for their work to make and keep our harbor navigable and safe. Harbor maintenance is mission critical for Northeast Ohio jobs and economic growth,” said Congresswoman Shontel Brown (OH-11).

West Breakwater Repair

Repair of the west breakwater began in June 2022 and was finished in September 2023. The $10.5 million project, executed by USACE and its contractor, Michigan-based Dean Marine & Excavating, Inc., was 100 percent federally funded.

Work included installation of approximately 408 feet of steel sheet pile wall along with all supporting structure and placement of stone fill within sheet pile walls; casting approximately 204 linear feet of reinforced concrete cap and approximately 40 feet of reinforced concrete retaining walls; repair or replacement of approximately 1,350 lineal feet of concrete parapet; and apron repair.

The breakwater repair concludes more than $16 million in upgrades made to Cleveland’s breakwaters since 2021, including a $1.81 million repair to the east breakwater and a $6.47 million repair previously done on the west breakwater.

Maintenance Dredging

Annual maintenance dredging began in May 2023 and was completed November 16 over the course of spring and fall periods of work.

270,000 cubic yards of material was mechanically dredged by USACE and its contractor, Michigan-based Ryba Marine Construction Company, and placed in both Port of Cleveland and USACE confined disposal facilities around the harbor.

This year’s dredging project cost $8.95 million.

Funding is in place to dredge Cleveland Harbor again starting in May 2024.

Harbor Impact

Cleveland Harbor is a deep draft commercial harbor which handled 12.4 million tons of cargo, including iron ore (58%), limestone (19%), and salt (9%) in 2021. 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.

Operation and maintenance of harbors like Cleveland by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is critical to the economy of Ohio, the Great Lakes region, and the United States.


Photos of the completed breakwater are available at: 

Cleveland West Breakwater Completion

Photos of dredging are available at: https://www.flickr.com/photos/buffalousace/albums/72177720312971052


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.


Contact
Avery Schneider
7168794410
avery.p.schneider@usace.army.mil
478 Main Street, Buffalo, NY 14202-3278
or
Andrew Kornacki
7168794349
andrew.a.kornacki@usace.army.mil
478 Main Street, Buffalo, NY 14202-3278

Release no. 23-024