Officials discuss removing the Gorge Dam in Akron

What's in-store for the Gorge Dam?

For over a century, the waters of the Cuyahoga River powered industry along its banks.

Just as the shops and mills have disappeared, the dams that powered them are too.

Now, discussions are underway about removing the Gorge Dam on the border of Akron and Cuyahoga Falls.

Photojournalist Carl Bachtel explains what this huge undertaking could mean for the area.

Less than ten minutes from from downtown Akron, located in Edison Park at its North end, is the Gorge Dam. 

The Gorge dam, over 400 feet wide and 57 feet tall, the concrete giant's days may be numbered.

The Ohio EPA and Summit Metroparks are developing a plan to remove it, returning the river to its natural state. Some, like Lorri Ball don't want to see it go.

"No! "too beautiful?" Yes it's too beautiful. This is relaxing, just to come and sit and relax your mind," said Ball.

Under the dam is another smaller, natural waterfall seen here in postcards from the 1880's. There is a case to be made, returning the river to it's natural state.

The biggest issue lies beneath these waters in the form of a century of industrial waste. It's removal and disposal makes this a pricey project, in the tens of millions of dollars.

So, you still have a few years to come down and capture some memories of Akron's version of Niagara Falls. 

Officials discuss removing the Gorge Dam in Akron

 

© 2017 WKYC-TV


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