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Corps of Engineers to start dredging Cleveland Harbor

Buffalo District
Published April 23, 2024
Updated: April 24, 2024
A dredging vessel fills a barge with material pulled from the bottom of the Cuyahoga River, Cleveland, Ohio

A dredging vessel fills a barge with material pulled from the bottom of the Cuyahoga River, Cleveland, Ohio, Nov. 15, 2023. USACE’s Civil Works mission - including dredging - provides a key foundational component of the nation’s public infrastructure that facilitates economic growth, quality of life, environmental health and national security for the American people. (U.S. Army photo by Dave Bala)

CLEVELAND — Dredging of the Cleveland Harbor federal navigation channel by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Buffalo District and its contractor, Michigan-based Ryba Marine Construction Co., will begin in May.  

Dredging of harbors like Cleveland’s ensures accessible depths for large vessels, the continued flow of commodities across the Great Lakes, and the economic viability of United States waterways. 

“Keeping our nation’s ports open for safe navigation is critically important to maintain the environment and economy of the United States,” said Lt. Col. Lyle Milliman, USACE Buffalo District commander. “The support from the partnerships we’ve developed with the City of Cleveland, the state of Ohio, and our representatives in Congress make contracts like this a success. We look forward to dredging this summer and helping to ensure the waterways of Cleveland remain clear for commerce.”    

The Buffalo District awarded the $10.8 million dredging contract on March 22 – the largest ever contract award for Cleveland Harbor. 

Approximately 250,000 cubic yards of material will be mechanically dredged from the federal navigation channel. The material will be hydraulically placed in contractor-furnished confined disposal facilities. 

“Cleveland Harbor is an economic engine for Northeast Ohio and connects our community to the global economy. The launch of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers summer dredging project in Cleveland Harbor is good news for Cleveland Harbor and our region. I’m proud to support infrastructure investments in Northeast Ohio, including the important work done by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers,” said Congresswoman Shontel Brown. 

Dredging of the harbor is scheduled to start in May and continue through November 2024. 

Dredging of Cleveland Harbor is conducted annually by USACE, based on availability of funding and is 100% federally funded as part of operations and maintenance. 

Cleveland Harbor is a deep draft commercial harbor which handled 12.4 million tons of cargo, including iron ore (58%), limestone (19%) and salt (9%) in 2021. Waterborne transportation facilitated by the harbor supports $529.6 million in business revenue, 2,244 direct, indirect, and induced jobs, and $163.8 million in labor income to the transportation sector. 

Operation, maintenance and dredging of harbors like Cleveland by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is critical to the economy of Ohio, the Great Lakes region, and the United States. 


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U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Buffalo District dredges Cuyahoga River

The Buffalo District delivers world class engineering solutions to the Great Lakes region, the Army and the Nation in order to ensure national security, environmental sustainability, water resource management, and emergency assistance during peace and war. 

Avery Schneider
Andrew Kornacki

Release no. 24-058

Chick Lock

Through deeds, not words, we are BUILDING STRONG®