Dam Demolition to Start in June

It was announced this past week when the Sheraton and Samira dams will be demolished

It won't be long now until crews start demolishing the dams behind the Sheraton Suites and former Samira restaurant in Cuyahoga Falls.

In fact, it was announced this past week that demolition for the Sheraton dam will be June 17-30 and July 1-19 for the Samira dam, according to the Falls News-Press. City officials as well as residents and kayaking entusiasts attended the second of two meetings Feb. 27 to discuss the future of the dams.

In December, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has issued a nationwide permit, which will allow for the removal of the dams. The project will cost just under $1 million and will be paid for by the Environmental Protection Agency.

Read more about last week's meeting on the Falls News-Press.

Why does the city want to remove the dams?

First, the removal means Cuyahoga Falls’ segment of the river would then meet Ohio Water Quality Standards for aquatic life and habitat. The dams negatively impact river systems by serving as barriers to fish migration and reduce fish habitat. They also act as sediment traps and modify water quality.

And second, removal of the dams would allow for kayaking, canoeing and white water rafting. The Cuyahoga Falls Department of Parks and Recreation has hired Colorado-based McLaughlin Whitewater Design Group to do an initial assessment of recreational opportunities for everyone, not just the experts, for kayaking, canoeing and whitewater rafting upstream of the Sheraton dam. 

Heather Elder March 04, 2013 at 03:08 PM
I'm under the impression that removing these damns will eventually lead to the river becoming increasingly smaller. Also, we have been fishing that portion of the river for years and have never had any trouble catching a variety of fish species there. So, I'm not inclined to believe that the dams every hindered aquatic life and habitat. Any given day or night you can encounter beavers, musk rats, ducks and every kind of fish indiginous to the State of Ohio. And if water quality is what you are worried about, how about you put some officers down near the water during Rockin on the River to stop people from throwing their trash in the river. It's great that Rockin' brings people out to spend their money in the Falls, but at what cost to the environment? Anyone who says it's not a problem hasn't gone down there the day after with a large trashbag and filled it up two or three times. I'm just saying that it seems like a bunch of money wasted without a true purpose. Sorry that I don't think it's necessary to turn the peaceful waters of the Cuyahoga through downtown into a white water rafting opportunity. All the same, I've enjoyed all the years of fishing and nature walks my children and I have enjoyed there.
Chris Y March 04, 2013 at 05:47 PM
The reference to water quality has more to do with sediment build up due to the dams and the pollution that a thick sediment bed can hold where as bedrock river bottoms don't hold this sediment. Fish thrive in moving water and there will still be lots of flat lazy sections on the river for still water reproduction and moving water to help the whole river be more diverse, the dams serve to real environmental purpose and the valley is deep enough that flooding isn't a concern. Rivers are supposed to be moving to dam'd up.
Chris Y March 04, 2013 at 07:18 PM
https://cfo.cityofcf.com/web/sites/default/files/imce/engineering/upload/Preliminary%20Restoration%20Plan%20Falls%20Dams.pdf details about the planning aspect.
Walt Dailey March 05, 2013 at 08:33 AM
I cannot wait to see the river back to the state it was for tens of thousands of years. With no power company down the river more, when will the gorge dam be taken down? It will be so nice to see what no man has seen in quite sometime.
crazyriver March 05, 2013 at 09:54 PM
Let me start by saying that I am one of "those kayakers" and these dams are NOT coming down on our behalf. IF "those kayakers" had that kind of clout, the dams would have been out years ago! The driving force behind the dam removal is improved water quality and I will let the EPA, biologists and fishermen (and women) argue who is right on that point. Paddlers (kayakers, canoeists, SUPs, etc) all have a vested interest in improved water quality since we constantly interface with the water surface, just like fishermen (and women) are concerned with water quality since they interface with the water as well and sometimes eat what they catch. But let's also remember that all manmade structures reach the end of their useful life and these dams are ~100 years old. At some point they will fail and the results could be devastating if they impact the adjacent structures like the LeFever restaturant and the Sheraton hotel. If the project opens up additional sections of whitewater to "us kayakers", we view that as a bonus to the improved water quality of the Cuyahoga River!


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