CMSD students & Argonaut cleaning Cuyahoga River, North Coast Harbor; Program also helping prepare students for maritime careers

CLEVELAND, May 25, 2023 — High school students and Argonaut employees are hard at work removing floating debris from the Cuyahoga River and North Coast Harbor using a pair of specially designed tandem Port of Cleveland vessels, Flotsam and Jetsam, that are back in the water to keep the navigation channel clean for commercial and recreational traffic. 

The Port of Cleveland contracts with Argonaut to captain the vessels and work with Davis Aerospace and Maritime High School students.  Argonaut’s mission is to build adventurers through immersive learning experiences that challenge assumptions and shift norms for growing empowered talent in aerospace and maritime fields. Argonaut co-leads the Davis Aerospace and Maritime High School in the Cleveland Metropolitan School District. 

Two to three Davis A&M students help out three to four days a week after school and then throughout the summer with the clean-up, as well as helping with special events including River Sweep, Blazing Paddles, rowing regattas and the July 4th boat parade. 

“Annually, the vessels remove on average 300,000 pounds of debris from the water,’’ said Jared Magyar, The Port’s Vice President of Operations and Facilities.

In addition to removing debris from the water, the students help with mechanical, fueling and safety inspections and operations of Flotsam and Jetsam.

Argonaut is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation founded by D. Andrew Ferguson and Douglas McConnell, incorporates a project-based learning environment and real-life experiences for Cleveland high school students, and increase the number of youths who enter careers in the fields of maritime and aerospace.

The partnership with the high school is growing. Recently the Port’s board of directors approved development of the Maritime Learning and Resource Center for the school.

“We’re enthusiastic about helping these high school students who are interested in careers on the water and keeping our waterways clean and safe,” said William Friedman, Port president and CEO.  “The center will give students a new learning space on the port and place where they can stow some of their gear and store their boats in the winter.”

Flotsam and jetsam are terms that describe two types of marine debris associated with vessels. Flotsam is defined as debris in the water that was not deliberately thrown overboard, often as a result from a shipwreck or accident. Jetsam describes debris that was deliberately thrown overboard by a crew of a ship in distress, most often to lighten the ship’s load. The word flotsam derives from the French word floter, to float. Jetsam is a shortened word for jettison.

To see Flotsam & Jetsam in action:

Port Advances Measures to Create New Lakefront Park, Make the Port Greener & More State of the Art

CLEVELAND – May 11, 2023 — The Port of Cleveland board of directors today took several measures that invest in critical infrastructure and better position the Cleveland Harbor to remain competitive while at the same time enhancing a publicly accessible lakefront.

”Today’s actions solidify our commitments to responsible stewardship of our lake, finding ways to remake the water’s edge into a natural habitat to be enjoyed by more people and continuing to modernize our port to maximize economic and community benefit,” said William Friedman, Port president & CEO.  Below are summaries of key board actions approved today:

Continued progress on CHEERS project with added design and engineering work

The Port board approved additional consultant services with Arup, a global engineering consultant, to take the CHEERS project to the next level of design.  The additional services will be paid for from a $2 million grant from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation.

CHEERS is short for the Cleveland Harbor Eastern Embayment Resilience Strategy, a collaborative effort with partners including the Cleveland Metroparks, the City of Cleveland, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, the Ohio Department of Transportation and the nonprofit Black Environmental Leaders Association.

When complete, the project will create a new lakefront park with open spaces, trails, fishing and other amenities along roughly 80 acres between the East 55th Street Marina and Gordon Park on the city’s east side.

“This project will be transformational for the city and particularly east side neighborhoods that currently do not have the same access to lakefront property as those who are living on the west side,” Friedman said. “We are committed to engaging community members throughout the planning and development of the site.”

The parkland would be developed using clean sediment dredged along the navigation channels, with the Port spearheading the creation of the in-water infrastructure to create the park on top of it, which will be led by the Metroparks. The park will fully be developed over the next two decades, but construction by the Port can begin potentially within the next three years with the initial park phase open within the next seven years.

Investments in improved infrastructure, environmental sustainability

A combination of port funds along with state and federal grants will be invested in significant port upgrades:

  • Zero Emissions Master Plan for General Cargo Terminal and development of a Maritime Learning and Resource Center for CMSD students: Approved today was the first contract in support of what is currently estimated to be a $34 million dollar project to modernize a key warehouse on-site, expand stormwater collection and treatment, and upgrade the electric infrastructure servicing the Port Authority’s General Cargo Terminal to prepare it for the next 50 years.

 The modernization project will include power upgrades to the terminal and a complete rehab and upgrade of “Warehouse A,” built more than 50 years ago. The improved 144,000-square-foot warehouse will become an electric distribution hub for the rest of the port, allowing cargo handlers and crane operators to switch from diesel combustion engines to more environmentally-friendly battery-electric and other zero-emission emerging industrial power alternatives.

Friedman said the Port is enthusiastic about the development of the Maritime Learning and Resource Center for students from the Davis Aerospace and Maritime High School, part of the Cleveland Municipal School District.

“The Port has enjoyed partnering with this program in the past several years and helping these high school students who are interested in careers on the water and keeping our waterways clean and safe,” Friedman said.  “This facility will give them a learning space on the port and place where they can stow some of their gear and store their boats in the winter.”

  • New storage containment capacity for dredge materials: With all permanent fill storage capacity exhausted, the Port must construct new storage containment facilities in advance of next year’s dredge season. The cost – slightly over $1 million — will be recovered by fees paid for by users of the facilities.
  • Improvements to the dock used for the Cleveland-Europe Express: The Port of Cleveland is the only Great Lakes port with regular container service to Europe. Directors today approved a bid to pave and improve the infrastructure of Dock 20N, which is used for the Cleveland-Europe Express. The existing surface of the dock needs to be upgraded to handle the growth of containerized cargo.  The project will cost slightly over $4 million. Funds will come from a grant awarded to the Port by the Ohio Maritime Assistance Program, ODOT and Port matching funds.

Advertisement for Bids: Irishtown Bend Stabilization & Rehabilitation

Advertisement for Bids

Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority | Cleveland, Ohio

NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN by the Board of Directors that Sealed Bids will be received by the Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority for the:

Irishtown Bend Stabilization & Rehabilitation Project

The successful Bidder will perform the work outlined in the Contract Documents. This project consists of the stabilization and rehabilitation of the hillside and riverfront along the project area known as Irishtown Bend. The general scope of work includes, but is not limited to, site preparation/staging/demolition, utility coordination and relocation, hillside excavation and soil disposal including soil remediation, bulkhead wall installation and backfill, repair of a large interceptor sewer, site grading, storm water management and storm sewers, green bulkhead additions, Franklin Avenue realignment and reconstruction, maintenance of traffic, and site restoration.

Bids will be received at the office of the Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority (“Port Authority”), Attention: Ms. Linda Sternheimer, 1100 West Ninth Street, Suite 300, Cleveland, Ohio 44113 until 10:00 a.m. local time on June 6, 2023.

The bid documents, specifications and drawings may be examined without charge online at To become a Registered Bidder, documents, specifications, and drawings must be purchased at either, SE Blueprint at 2035 Hamilton Avenue, Cleveland, OH 44114 or SE Blueprint at 520 South Main Street, Suite 2411, Akron, OH 44311 at the cost of $200.00 + tax for an electronic version which includes bid registration and one complete set of pdf files. Hard copies of bid documents can also be ordered for an additional cost by visiting, emailing, calling 216-241-2250 or visiting an SE Blueprint location.

A Disadvantaged Business Enterprise goal of 5% (subcontracts, materials, supplies) has been set on this Project, pursuant to the requirements of Title 49 of Code of Federal Regulations, Part 26.

The Port Authority has an overarching commitment to MBE/FBE business participation across all of its capital development and finance projects. Bidders are encouraged to include MBE/FBE participation from MBE/FBE firms that that are part of agency programs defined in the Instruction to Bidders.

A mandatory pre-bid meeting will be held on April 27th at 10:00 a.m. at Merwin’s Wharf, 1785 Merwin Avenue, Cleveland, Ohio 44113 followed by a site visit. All attendees must wear appropriate PPE for the site visit and must present a valid government issued photo ID.

Bids must be submitted on the forms furnished in the Bid Packet.


Any Bid may be withdrawn or amended prior to the closing time for the receipt of the Bids. If any Bidder has questions, they should contact Joe Ferenczy of Osborn Engineering at 216-861-2020 ext.
13090 or email The last day to submit questions regarding this bid will be May 23, 2023, 4:30 p.m. EDT.


The successful Bidder will be required to enter into a contract with the Port Authority based upon the materials submitted and any mutually agreeable negotiations completed between the parties.

Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority
William Friedman

Port of Cleveland’s Board approves funding for Bridgeworks’ downtown redevelopment project

Cleveland, OH (April 13, 2023) – The Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority’s Board of Directors approved a financing agreement with Bridgeworks LLC for the redevelopment of the former Cuyahoga County parking garage into a mixed-use building. The Bridgeworks Project, located on W. Superior and Detroit Ave., will feature a 130-room hotel, 140 residential units (70 of which will be affordable housing), a 120-seat restaurant and bar, office space, and ground floor retail.

“It’s an exciting time for downtown Cleveland, and the Bridgeworks Project is the latest renovation effort that the Port has made possible for our city,” said Rhonda Winslow, Vice President of Development Finance for the Port of Cleveland. “Transforming an old parking garage into a newly designed mixed-use attraction will be a direct and tangible benefit to both Cleveland residents and visitors.”

The Board approved two resolutions Thursday related to financing the Bridgeworks Project. One authorizes the issuance and sale of $80 million in taxable Lease Revenue Bonds and the other authorizes the issuance and sale of $4.23 million of taxable Bond Fund Tax Increment Financing Bonds.

The project developer, M. Panzica Development, plans to complete construction on the Bridgeworks Project by Q4 of 2024. Total costs for the project are an estimated $103,096,325.

Port Statement on Irishtown Bend Settlement

Cleveland, OH (March 28, 2023) – Today, the Board of Directors for the Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority voted 5-0 to approve Resolution 2023-12 authorizing the Port Authority to proceed with settlement of the Irishtown Bend litigation. Today’s Board action moves the Port Authority one step closer to delivering on its promise and commitment to ensuring the continued safety, welfare, and economic prosperity of our communities and businesses in and around the Cuyahoga River. A copy of the proposed settlement agreement can be found here. The agreement, which is still further subject to court approval, allocates the Port Authority’s current total responsibility and contribution in the settlement to $360,000.00, which was previously deposited in escrow with the Probate Court and are funds previously appropriated for that purpose. The Port Authority will have no role in any billboard relocations or further development post-stabilization. The Port Authority intends to proceed to construction, which we hope to begin this Summer.

Public Notice - Special Meeting of the Board of Directors 3/28

Cleveland, OH (March 24, 2023)

NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that the Board of Directors of the Cleveland-Cuyahoga County
Port Authority will hold a Special Meeting of the Board of Directors at the following date, time
and location:

Tuesday, March 28, 2023 at 3:00 pm EST
Port of Cleveland Conference Center
1100 W. 9th Street, 1st Floor
Cleveland, Ohio 44113

For the purpose of consideration of Resolution No. 2023-12 authorizing and approving the
execution and delivery of a settlement agreement in connection with the Irishtown Bend
Stabilization & Rehabilitation Project and further authorizing the expenditure of funds.

Port of Cleveland advances critical Irishtown Bend Rehabilitation and Stabilization project to construction phase

Port of Cleveland advances critical Irishtown Bend Rehabilitation and Stabilization project to the construction phase

Board green-lights contract with construction manager

Cleveland, OH (March 9, 2023) – The Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority’s (Port of Cleveland) Board of Directors approved Thursday a construction contract that moves the critical Irishtown Bend Rehabilitation and Stabilization project forward.

“The Port of Cleveland is taking a key step forward today as we move to the construction phase of the critical Irishtown Bend Rehabilitation and Stabilization project,” said Linda Sternheimer, Director of Urban Planning & Engagement at the Port of Cleveland. “We’re pleased to progress with construction efforts that prioritize public safety and our region’s economy. Extensive analysis has made it clear that there is a great threat if we don’t act swiftly to stabilize Irishtown Bend’s hillside.”

The Port of Cleveland’s contract with Wade Trim, Inc., and its partners totals $3,643,727. This agreement is the result of a public request for qualifications by the Port, which determined Wade Trim Inc., in partnership with G. Stephens Inc., Resource International, Inc., and KS Associates, Inc., to be the most qualified team for the project.

As the Port moves towards bidding the project out for construction, Wade Trim will oversee onsite construction and inspections acting in the capacity as an owner’s representative. Wade Trim committed to sourcing 42 percent of the project’s work from minority- and female-owned businesses.

The Port of Cleveland has led efforts to stabilize the Irishtown Bend hillside. Located between W. 25th St. and the Cuyahoga River, Irishtown Bend’s unstable hillside poses an immediate threat to public safety and property in the area. Given the potential for a landslide to disrupt commercial shipping traffic on the Cuyahoga, thousands of maritime jobs could be impacted, and an adverse economic effect could be felt throughout the region.

Other items of note during Thursday’s meeting include:

  • The board approved $9,105,000 in taxable revenue bonds (known as “TIF Bonds”) for Skyline International Development to complete the renovation of the Renaissance Hotel on Public Square. The historic hotel is set to become an Autograph by Marriott that will be known as The Cleveland Hotel.
  • J. Stefan Holmes, Peggy Zone Fisher, and Darrell L. McNair were re-elected for another year by the board to their positions as Chair, Vice-Chair, and Secretary, respectively.

Port of Cleveland solidifies position as Great Lakes’ reliable international shipping hub in 2022

Port of Cleveland solidifies position as Great Lakes’ reliable international shipping hub in 2022

Port responded to supply chain challenges, registered strong general cargo and container shipping volume increases

Cleveland, OH (February 9, 2023) –During its February board meeting on Thursday, the Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority (Port of Cleveland) announced its tonnage numbers for the 2022 shipping season. Comparing shipping volumes last year to the 2021 season, the Port registered tonnage increases for general cargo and containerized goods while there was a decrease in bulk tonnage through the Cleveland Bulk Terminal (CBT).

“Our overall tonnage numbers indicate that the Port of Cleveland proved to be well-positioned to overcome the supply chain challenges the world faced in 2022,” said Dave Gutheil, Chief Commercial Officer at the Port of Cleveland. “Even as supply chain issues resolve, we’ve established ourselves on the world stage as a reliable shipping hub.”

General cargo tonnage in 2022 totaled 525,486 metric tons, a jump from 421,755 metric tons in 2021. Last year’s total was also ahead of the Port’s five-year average of 402,886 metric tons. Containerized goods shipped to Cleveland more than doubled, with 2022 seeing 9,978 TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent units) compared to 4,810 TEUs the year prior. This was also well above the five-year average of 4,956 TEUs. These increases can be attributed to factors including high demand for steel in the local market, high transatlantic container demand, and favorable shipping rates. Congestion at the U.S. coastal ports was also a key factor that created an opportunity for the Port of Cleveland to present itself to global shippers as a viable shipping alternative. While tonnage at the CBT rebounded during the second half of the 2022 season, the Port moved 4,896,310 metric tons compared to 6,943,139 metric tons in 2021. This was slightly below the five-year average of 5,327,938 metric tons. The decrease is a result of ongoing maintenance on the furnace at Cleveland Cliffs’ steel mill.

Also on Thursday, the board approved a $105,000 grant award to Argonaut (formerly PHASTAR) from the Port Community Investment Fund. This funding will support the aviation and maritime program’s educational, safety, and youth workforce training programs at Davis Aviation & Maritime High School.

“I’m pleased to bolster our ongoing support for Argonaut, which is educating and preparing the next generation of our industry’s workforce,” said Jade Davis, Sr. Vice President, Public Affairs & Energy Policy at the Port of Cleveland. “Support from our Community Investment Fund will go towards helping the program reach its goal of doubling its student participation.”

Furthermore, Thursday’s board meeting was an opportunity for the Port to recognize the Seamen’s Service volunteers in Cleveland. These dedicated volunteers greet international maritime workers who arrive at the Port and help assist them with getting around town and obtaining the supplies they need before returning to their vessel.

Economic Value of Shipping in Cleveland tops $4.7 billion, Up $1 billion from 2015

Economic Value of Shipping in Cleveland tops $4.7 billion, Up $1 billion from 2015

Development Financing Supports $4.8 billion in Personal Income since 2010

Cleveland, OH (November 3, 2022) – The Cleveland-Cuyahoga Port Authority (Port Authority), also known as the Port of Cleveland, has completed an update to a key report on the economic value of cargo shipping through Cleveland Harbor including the Port Authority docks and private industry on the Cuyahoga River. The report also assesses the economic impacts of development financing services offered by the Port Authority.

The economic analysis of maritime cargo used data from 2021, which was compared to the Port’s last economic impact report released in 2016 using 2015 data. The methodology and data from the two reports are highly comparable.* Both reports were prepared by Martin Associates, the nation’s leading provider of seaport economic impact assessments.

The report finds that the total value of economic activity in the region that depends on or is related to maritime shipping increased by more than $1 billion compared to 2015, reaching $4.7 billion in 2021. The total number of jobs attributable to shipping topped 22,000 in 2021, a 10% increase from 2015. Total personal income in 2021 increased $368 million to $1.8 billion, up 25% from 2015. Business revenue earned by firms providing cargo and vessel handling services totaled $691 million in 2021, up from $514 million in 2015, a 34% jump. Taxes paid to state and local governments attributable to cargo shipping topped $240 million in 2021.

Stefan Holmes, Chair of the Port Authority board of directors, said, “we are very pleased to see these numbers up sharply from 2015, even in the face of the pandemic and supply chain disruptions. The Port’s mission is to grow jobs and commerce and foster economic vitality. This report card shows progress on all fronts”.

The report also calculated the construction employment person-hours, personal earnings, and taxes based on the total construction cost of projects that received Port Authority financing via the issuance of project revenue bonds and other types of Port-issued bonds. Since 2010, the total construction cost of projects financed utilizing Port bonds totals $6.2 billion**. This construction spending generated 161,283 person-hours of work in the construction industry, $4.8 billion in personal earnings, and $614 million in taxes paid to state and local governments from 2010 to 2021.

Will Friedman, President and CEO of the Port Authority, commented, “This report shows, once again, that commerce through Cleveland Harbor remains a pillar of the regional economy and is growing. Shipping and construction jobs that are catalyzed by Port bonds pay good wages and support families throughout our County and region. We’re proud to support these sectors and we are committed to increasing diversity, equity, and inclusion within the Port-related economy in every way we can.

*The methodology used to calculate taxes paid was changed from 2015, therefore these figures are not strictly comparable between 2015 and 2021.

**The total cost of construction on projects financed by the Port is used to calculate economic impacts. This total exceeds the amount of funds raised by Port bonds due to other sources of debt and equity for most transactions. In most cases, Port bonds are the largest source of capital for the project.


Port of Cleveland Awarded $27 Million Federal Infrastructure Improvement Grant

Port of Cleveland Awarded $27 Million Federal Infrastructure Improvement Grant

Cleveland, OH (October 28, 2022) – The Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority (Port of Cleveland) announced it has been awarded a $27,223,711 grant to improve cargo handling efficiencies, modernize and expand its electric, and stormwater infrastructure. The grant was awarded by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s (DOT) Port Infrastructure Development Program, which is administered by the U.S. Maritime Administration.

“We appreciate Northeast Ohio’s congressional delegation, Secretary Buttigieg, and MARAD Administrator Rear Admiral Phillips (US Navy, Ret.) for recognizing the importance of investing in the Port of Cleveland, and more broadly, Northeast Ohio’s economy,” said William D. Friedman, President and CEO of the Port of Cleveland. “By enhancing our port’s operations and improving our infrastructure, this grant will help create quality local jobs while bolstering our region’s competitiveness on the global stage.”

The Project will improve the Port’s largest warehouse (Warehouse A), continue the implementation of the Port Authority’s Stormwater Master Plan that seeks to improve the quality of stormwater discharging into Lake Erie, make necessary electrification investments to prepare the Port for a zero-emissions future, and construct a new on-Port maritime learning and resource center to support hands-on learning programs that prepare Davis Aerospace & Maritime High School students for employment opportunities in the maritime industry.

This project will make key steps towards improving the quality of stormwater discharging from the Terminal into Lake Erie and lay the groundwork for the Port’s electrification and emissions reduction efforts,” said Nicholas LaPointe, Director of Planning & Capital Development at the Port of Cleveland.

This funding will have a significant regional economic impact given that the Port of Cleveland is the first major U.S. port of call on the Great Lakes. For ships transiting the St. Lawrence Seaway System, Cleveland is a gateway to major Midwest markets such as Columbus, Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, Indianapolis, and Chicago.