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Euclid waterfront project connects residents to Lake Erie, addresses shoreline erosion

Posted at 9:13 PM, Sep 26, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-26 23:42:44-04

EUCLID, Ohio — Downtown Euclid is usually busy. Beach Club Bistro Executive Chef Padriac Greene said foot traffic is what helps keep their doors open.

“[We] definitely have come together through these hard times and tried to make the most of it,” Greene said.

Greene said coronavirus is to blame for slowing that foot traffic. He and his team now looking for the city to help.

“The beginning I think was tough for everyone, we weren’t in that alone,” he said.

According to its website, Euclid is the 13th largest municipality in Ohio with a 22% poverty level.

Mayor Kristen Gail said recent investments have helped attract new businesses, visitors and jobs—but a new trail along Lake Erie could help even more.

“As an aging suburb we’ve seen some decline. I think in recent years we’re continuing to see a great amount of investment both in our industrial and business corridor but also in out residential areas,” Gail explained. “People who hadn’t been down here have really been able to come down and enjoy and see the wonderful asset that we have here in Euclid.”

The concept came about 10 years ago. The first phase cost the city $6.8 million with the public now able to enjoy half a three-quarter mile long trail. The second phase, which is underway, costs about $3.8 million. In the end, the trail will stretch from the fishing pier at Sims Park to East 250th Street.

Gail said the area was becoming a potential natural disaster.

“This area is in a coastal erosion zone which means the bluff was eroding on average a foot a year,” Gail explained. “More than 100 stakeholders had to sign easements and so what was historically private property, now they signed over an easement to provide public access to property in front of their home.”

This means property owners get the benefit of shoreline erosion control measures, and the public gets the benefit of more access to Lake Erie.

“The erosion control is there and we built the multipurpose path right on top of that so that we capture both,” Gail said.

The project is turning out so well, other communities, including Willoughby, Willowick and Eastlake are now exploring similar projects to give people more access to the shoreline.