Update on Hulett Removal Project

Update on Hulett Removal Project

Cleveland – March 29, 2024 – Despite sincere efforts to enable the potential conservation one of the Hulett Ore Unloaders in its entirety, the Port of Cleveland encountered unforeseen challenges with a proposal aimed at doing so. As a result, the Port has entered into a new contract with Northern Ohio Scrap Service that will allow the port to continue to salvage two of the Huletts most historically significant pieces – an arm and a bucket – while the vendor handles the removal of remaining pieces.

Last week, the Port contracted with Maple Leaf Demolition, selected in part for the company’s intent to reassemble one of the Huletts on its site in Canton. Regrettably, Maple Leaf could not provide the necessary bonding and insurance required.

The new contractor is a Cleveland-based company with significant experience with this type of work.

Dave Gutheil, Chief Commercial Officer for the Port of Cleveland, expressed disappointment at this but reiterated their commitment to the initially envisioned solution of preserving several significant pieces on-site. He underscored the acknowledgment of their importance in Cleveland’s industrial and maritime history, emphasizing the desire to grant preservationists more time to find a suitable display solution.

Additionally, a shunt engine that was part of the Hulett unloading system will be salvaged and publicly displayed at the American Industrial Mining Museum in Brownsville, PA.

The Huletts were taken down in 1999 and two have been stored at the Port’s Cleveland Bulk Terminal since that time. Initially intended for storage for just five years, the Port has withheld actions to remove the pieces for over 24 years in an effort to accommodate preservation efforts.

The Port has agreed to store the pieces for a year to provide more time for preservationists to secure a suitable location for their display and raise funds for their removal.

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Port’s first Chief Legal Officer has Spent Her Career Breaking Barriers

Port’s first chief legal officer has spent her career breaking barriers

Maria Bocanegra, the inaugural Chief Legal Officer at the Port of Cleveland, oversees all legal affairs for the Port including its ethics, compliance, labor, contracts, business transactions, governance and managing outside counsel, will also providing strategic guidance on legislative & regulatory matters.

As the first Latina in this role, Maria sees it as an opportunity to set an example and increase Latino representation in board and executive positions.

Prior to joining the Port in 2022, she served as the second Latina commissioner with the Illinois Commerce Commission, gaining national recognition for her work in utility regulation. Maria is actively involved in various advisory councils and serves on multiple boards, including the Citizens Utility Board of Ohio, Council of the Great Lakes Region and the Cleveland Water Alliance.

Maria has been recognized as a Crain’s Cleveland Notable Latino Leader and Who’s Who In Hispanic Chicago and by Latino Leaders Magazine.

In her spare time, she enjoys trying new restaurants & cuisines, travel and learning all things real estate investing. New to Ohio City and Cleveland, Maria’s top spots for food are Saucy Brew Works, Johnny’s for a filet or Little Johnny’s for a cheeseburger. When she is not exploring Cleveland, Maria is a frequent NYC and Comedy Cellar visitor.

VP Engineering & Capital Development

Position Description

Position Title: VP Engineering & Capital Development

FLSA Category: Salary 

Current Rate: Competitive; based on experience.

Position Objectives

The Port (“Port”) of Cleveland is seeking a licensed Professional Engineer to join our small but highly impactful organization. The Port is an economic engine for the greater Cleveland region, overseeing maritime commerce that generates $4.7 billion in annual economic activity and more than 22,000 jobs. The Port is a leading hub for international and Great Lakes shipping, averaging 12 million tons per year across Port docks and through private terminals in Cleveland Harbor. The Port also leads major shoreline infrastructure projects in Cleveland to maintain and enhance navigation, public access, coastal resiliency, and the ecological health of Lake Erie and the Cuyahoga River. Beyond maritime shipping and infrastructure, the Port plays a key role in economic development generally as the region’s leading provider of bond financing for real estate development projects of all kinds. 

Summary of Duties, Responsibilities, and Skills:

The Vice President, Engineering and Capital Development reports directly to the President and CEO and has a wide scope of responsibilities, as described below. The Port employs only one professional engineer, requiring outsourcing of certain planning and engineering projects and tasks. Selecting service providers and managing them effectively is a key component of the job. This position currently has one direct report, the Senior Manager, Planning, Environment, and Information Systems.

  • Leading capital projects undertaken by the Port. The Port is amidst a major modernization of facilities to better serve Port users, accommodate growth, and advance the Port’s recently adopted Climate Action Plan to reach net-zero carbon by 2050.  This position must lead and manage all aspects of this capital program including planning, design, bidding and award, and management of active construction projects through close-out.
  • Leading planning for the Port’s Capital Improvement Program. This 5-year plan must be refreshed at least annually for budgetary purposes and to ensure that the Port has adequate time to secure funding and regulatory approvals for projects. Planning is conducted collaboratively with the senior management team of the Port but is the primary responsibility of the VP, Engineering and Capital Development
  • Leading the Port’s dredge material management operations, including extensive Beneficial Use of sediments. The Port has assumed responsibility for providing dredge processing capacity and permanent storage for sediments dredged from the Cuyahoga River federal channel twice per year by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. This operation is, therefore, critical for maintaining navigation on the ship channel up to the steel mill complex at the head of navigation. This Port’s dredge processing operation must always be ready for the upcoming dredge cycles, and effective planning and collaboration with numerous service providers and other governmental entities is required.
  • Participating as an active member of the Port’s senior management team. It is expected that this position will regularly contribute to strategic and business planning and analyses; public policy analyses; communication and representation with outside parties; responding to urgent issues on short notice, such as damage to Port property and malfunctioning equipment.


  • Must be a licensed Professional Engineer in the State of Ohio or seek and obtain Ohio licensure within one year if currently licensed in another State; Civil engineering discipline preferred but others such as Environmental or Naval Architecture & Marine will be considered.
  • Must have at least 8 years of experience as a Project Manager, Director or higher level with an engineering consulting firm, government agency or in private industry.
  • Port and maritime industry experience strongly preferred but may be substituted by sufficient experience in other civil engineering fields with relevancy to the port environment.
  • Must have significant experience managing civil works construction projects or major components of large, complex projects. Experience with marine infrastructure, coastal projects, and dredging preferred but not required.
  • Prefer experience working within or on behalf of public agencies, particularly experience with public bidding of design and construction work and management of construction projects under the laws and regulations pertaining to construction work by public agencies.
  • Experience with the design and construction of marine structures such as docks, wharves, bulkheads, berms and embankments, cargo handling systems and surfaces is strongly preferred. Experience with roads, bridges, cargo storage structures, ship to shore cranes, landside cargo handling equipment, rail trackage, storm water management systems, electrification and decarbonization will be considered relevant.
  • Knowledge and experience with dredging operations and dredged material management techniques is strongly preferred. Ability to successfully lead and oversee the design, construction and operation of dredged sediment processing and storage facilities is required.
  • Experience negotiating contracts and agreements common to engineering consulting and design work and construction is required. Must also be able to formulate and negotiate business terms for service contracts such as site operator for dredged sediment facility and others.
  • Experience with environmental planning and engineering principles is preferred.
  • Familiarity with marine terminal operations and management a plus.
  • Familiarity with asset management programs and software is preferred.
  • Excellent communications skills are required including the ability to write clearly and succinctly and speak effectively in public settings. Experience presenting technical information to non-technical audiences is preferred, especially presenting to governing boards, executive management teams, elected officials, and the public.

Leadership Qualities and Work Style

The Port is seeking an individual with a Servant Leadership approach that fits the culture and expectations at the Port. The Port is a fast-paced work environment that embodies the best of the private and public sectors. This position requires working independently with limited supervision while also being an effective collaborator and team member. Creative thinking and problem-solving skills are a must. The Port is a small organization where management and senior leaders all have a wide span of responsibilities and duties, which can sometimes overlap and change quickly. Excellent communication skills and adaptability are required to succeed in this environment.

The selected candidate is also expected to occasionally work in inclement field conditions and perform work that might be considered below the job grade if needed. Port employees are public officials who must always adhere to the rules and regulations of the Port and the State of Ohio that pertain to public employment. The highest standards of professional ethics and integrity must always be maintained.

The Port’s goal is to have a workforce that reflects the diversity in our community to the maximum extent possible. Candidates with diverse backgrounds are encouraged to apply.

Interested candidates can submit a resume and cover letter to melisa.freilino@portofcleveland.com no later than COB December 8, 2023.

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.