Euclid Creek’s first dam removal project underway

Euclid Creek East Branch Dam

After five years of planning and piecing together funding, work on the Euclid Creek East Branch dam removal and stream restoration project began on October 18th. The dam is located in the City of Euclid, south of Euclid Avenue in the Euclid Creek Metropark Reservation below the Highland Road Bridge, and is one of six dams in the Euclid Creek Watershed impeding fish and aquatic life from traveling through the watershed’s stream network. The dams in Euclid Creek range from small dams built in the old mill days to others built as part of roadway improvement projects in the 1960’s. 

The East Branch Dam was constructed in 1933 to impound water for swimming at a YMCA camp. The dam is roughly 6 feet high by 40 feet wide and made of concrete. Over the years, the area behind the dam filled with sediment and now provides no recreation or other essential purpose. 

The construction team has installed a stream by-pass pump to re-route the stream around the dam area so the crew can work in dry conditions. Large rocks will be installed in the stream to direct stream flow away from the Highland Road bridge footers, and the rocks will slow down the water and provide places for fish to spawn and hide. Once the rocks are in place, the dam will be removed before the end of the year. The final step is to revegetate the areas disturbed during construction with native plants in the Spring. 

The project cost is $526,585, of which $145,000 was for design and engineering through Burgess and Niple, and $381,585 for construction through Great Lakes Construction. Funding is provided by the following sources: ODNR, Division of Wildlife; ODNR, Division of Wildlife through USFWS; Ohio EPA, Water Resource Restoration Sponsor Program (WRRSP); Ohio EPA 319 Program; US Fish & Wildlife Service, Midwest Region, Fish Passage Program; a Federal contract with the Cleveland Metroparks; the Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District providing in-kind by acting as the Construction Management Entity; and the Cuyahoga Soil and Water Conservation District providing in-kind staff time to pursue and manage the grants and public outreach. 

This project could not have happened without strong partnerships with the City of Euclid, Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District, Cuyahoga County Engineer, Cleveland Metroparks, Ohio EPA, Friends of Euclid Creek and the Euclid Creek Watershed Council. 

Removing or retrofitting the remaining dams in Euclid Creek will improve fish migration and the number of species traveling from Lake Erie throughout the upper watershed, which will in turn increase recreational fishing opportunities.  

Once the project is complete, a celebration will be held to mark this historic first dam removal project in the watershed.  Please keep updated on this project and the Spring Dam Removal Celebration at the following website:

Volume 2, Issue 12, Posted 3:13 PM, 11.22.2010