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City of Lorain Black River Dredged Material Reuse Facility


Black River Dredged Material Reuse Facility

Lorain County, Ohio
Responding to the ban on open lake disposal of dredged material, Coldwater is advancing Lorain’s upland beneficial reuse facility to repurpose sediments into marketable soil at a legacy brownfield one-mile inland.
City of Lorain and its Black River is a Lake Erie port developing a dredged material reuse facility to sustain navigation.
Multi-functional facility layout

Lorain is a Lake Erie port city with a long commercial shipping history and miles of Federal navigation channels.  Dredging to maintain the navigable channels is necessary and occurs on a regular cycle. The Ohio state Senate passed Senate Bill 1 that placed a moratorium, starting July 2020, on open water disposal of dredged material in Lake Erie.  In response to the moratorium, Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) and Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (OEPA) awarded a Healthy Lake Erie grant to the City of Lorain for development of an upland beneficial reuse of dredged material facility.  In 2019, the City selected Coldwater as its prime consultant to advance the planning, design, and construction of the Black River Dredged Material Reuse Facility (BRDMRF).

Coldwater has identified and evaluated alternative sites; screened multiple conceptual layouts applying various dredging, handling, and dredged material dewatering methodologies; conducted bench testing and analyses; developed preliminary site designs; and performed a pilot study of an innovative geotextile dewatering technology called a GeoPool; performed geotechnical investigations; and continues to advance the project through final design, permitting, and construction.

The site selected for the BRDMRF is a legacy brownfield, 60 feet in elevation above the Black River, and will require pumping slurried dredged material one mile inland from the water’s edge.  Repurposing the site to support repurposing dredged material brings its challenges but is a clear demonstration of Coldwater’s commitment to sustainable solutions.

Coldwater’s facility layout features a multi-functional design integrating cost-conscious methods and materials accounting for both the incoming slurry and outgoing dewatered dredged material suitable as a marketable repurposed product.

Coldwater has provided construction management on facility-pertinent pilot projects and intends to provide construction administration for the full-scale facility build-out.


Dredged Material Mgmt
Brownfield Redevelopment
Alternative Analyses
Effluent Permitting

Engineering Design
Subsurface Investigations
Bid & Construction Documents
Construction Admin & Mgmt