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City of Independence partners with Army Corps of Engineers to stop Cuyahoga River flooding

Independece Flood Project.jpg
Posted at 12:10 PM, Aug 24, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-24 12:12:51-04

INDEPENDENCE, Ohio — The city of Independence and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will sign a project partnership to combat flooding that has plagued that area.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Independece Mayor Gregory P. Kurtz are expected to sign an agreement on Thursday at 9 a.m. to start the proposed project.

"Reducing the risk of floods is essential to the future economic vitality of these flood-prone areas,” Kurtz said in a news release. “This partnership will ensure best management and mitigation practices in conjunction with the design and construction of the plan.”

What it entails
The goal of the $8 million project is to protect residential and business properties in the city from flooding from the Cuyahoga River. The federal government will pay 65% of the project cost, with non-federal agencies paying the remainder. The plan is expected begin in the fall, with construction following shortly thereafter, officials said.

"Reducing risks from flooding and partnering with places like Independence is all part of our role as the Nation’s Engineers. Everything we build, everything we do in USACE is about delivering projects for the people of this Nation,” said Lt. Col. Eli S. Adams, commander for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Buffalo District.

Studies conducted by the military show that flooding from the Cuyahoga River has increased dramatically since 2006. Specifically, the river flooded in 2007, 2008, 2010, 2011 and again last year.

To prevent future flooding, a 2,600-foot earthen levee and an 800-foot concrete floodwall system will be constructed along a 7-mile stretch of the west bank of the Cuyahoga River, officials said. The floodwall is required where space is lacking to make a levee.

Additionally, poured concrete closure structures will be created where Rockside Road and the levee cross the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad line and at the project's northern end. The project will reduce the flood risk of more than 52 acres of land as well as prevent further erosion.

Impact on neighboring communities
Residents in neighboring communities will not have to worry about increased flooding in their areas due to the project, officials said. The project will also not have a "significant adverse impact on the natural environment."

Protects families and businesses
Congressman Dave Joyce (OH-14) said this project will protect families and commerce in the city of Independence.

"Flooding of the Cuyahoga River is a persistent, direct threat to the residents and businesses of Independence. One that has caused significant physical and economic damage over the years. Thankfully, the Project Partnership Agreement signed today will mitigate this threat. Once constructed, the Independence floodwall will help manage flood risks for more than 52 acres of the Independence community," Joyce said. "I applaud the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the City of Independence on this critical partnership and look forward to seeing this project come to fruition so that we can minimize the hardships that flooding has had on families and businesses here in Independence."

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