You may recall that Main Street Kent worked with the City and an engineering firm to have a quick assessment completed of our section of the Cuyahoga for the feasibility of expanding river recreation opportunities. Since the consultant, and the community responded favorably to the idea, we are now in the process of reviewing an engineering proposal that would take the idea another step closer to reality by designing and costing elements specific to Kent. I’ve shared a copy of the proposal and an article from Springfield Ohio that offers some insight into what might come next here in Kent.
Click Here to Read the Whitewater Proposal being considered in Kent.
Springfield Ohio, Newspaper Article
Army Corps wants feedback on Buck Creek whitewater rafting proposal
John Loftis would prefer not to drive to West Virginia or Pennsylvania to kayak.
Rather, if the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers give its OK to his proposal, he could paddle down Buck Creek.
“I was looking for something recreational here,” Loftis said.
The Army Corps is reviewing an application to remove or alter four low-head dams in Buck and Beaver creeks, replacing the removed ones with back fill and native stone boulders.
That would create features allowing for whitewater kayaking, or canoeing, Loftis said, as well as improving safety and the environment.
The proposal also calls for some terraced banks, which Loftis said would improve access and use of the creek.
“It creates a better atmosphere,” he said.
The Army Corps is accepting public comments on the proposal from Loftis and the Springfield Conservancy District until Sept. 21.
Once the comment period is closed, the corps will examine any issues raised.
Then the corps will make a decision on issuing a permit for the plan, said Denise Marmer, a corps regulatory specialist.
How soon it decides depends on what issues come from comments, Marmer said.
Loftis hopes work could begin in spring or summer.
Early estimates put the price tag at $800,000. Loftis hopes to pay for the project with private fund-raising.
In addition to the recreational value, Loftis said removing or altering the dams improves safety.
The dams create a recirculating hydraulic that can trap swimmers or kayakers.
“It’s like a washing machine,” he said.
The proposed changes would push the water and keep it moving downstream.
That also allows the water to flow better, which Loftis said would improve the water quality and animal habitat.
That’s a reason groups are concerned about the dams, Marmer said.
“They are not natural and they are an impediment of the natural flow,” she said.