Irishtown Bend

Problems with the hillside along Irishtown Bend (ITB) have been documented for over 40 years. Several individual engineering studies addressed specific properties but provided no overall site analysis. The Port of Cleveland is the local sponsor for Cleveland Harbor and the Cuyahoga River Federal Navigation Channel that abuts ITB. Since 2010, the Port and various Cleveland economic stakeholders have been working in coordination to protect the Federal Navigation channel from ITB blockage threat and stabilizing the hillside to avoid imminent hillside movement.

In January 2019, a biennial inspection of Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District’s sewer lines that run along and through Irishtown Bend showed significant movement over the previous six months. Thus, we know that the hillside is currently moving toward the Cuyahoga River.

As part of the 2010 Strategic Plan, the Port of Cleveland led an extensive analysis and restoration planning effort. The Port’s 16-month study cost $282,000 and included several additional geotechnical borings, and substantial detailed site investigations. The Port’s principal objective was to ensure steps could be implemented so that there would be no interruptions to critical maritime traffic transiting the ship channel.

ArcelorMittal-Cleveland, now Cleveland-Cliffs, is one of the most productive steel making facilities in the world. However, their success, like all the other ship channel users, depends on keeping the Cuyahoga River open and accessible to shipping.  The unstable nature of the ITB hillside threatens ArcelorMittal and Cleveland’s ability to receive iron ore and other steel-making essentials via the Cuyahoga River. Not addressing the ITB hillside issues will leave thousands of jobs at ArcelorMittal Cleveland and all other river dependent industries vulnerable to an avoidable hazard.

Because of this risk, the Port initiated a geo-technical evaluation of conditions on the hillside and a list of necessary remedial actions to stabilize the site and allow the area to be productively used. The most important need is for bulkheads to be installed along the approximately 2,300 ft of water frontage. The Port secured $5 million in state capital funding to advance the restoration.

The hillside along Irishtown Bend stretches from W. 25th street between the Superior Detroit Bridge and Columbus Road.

Partners

Partnering with Ohio City Incorporated (OCI), the Port also secured a Transportation for Livable Communities Initiative (TLCI) planning grant to develop a plan to connect the Ohio City neighborhood safely to the river.

The Port is working with other key stakeholders and agencies to assemble the estimated $40 million funds needed to restore the shoreline.

Irishtown Bend Drawings

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