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City of Lorain Lower Black River Reclamation Site Restoration

THE CITY OF LORAIN

Black River AOC Remediation & Restoration Program, Reclamation Site Restoration

Lorain, Ohio
Funded by the USEPA via the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI)
Pre-construction view of slag adjacent to the floodplain wetland
Post-construction view of remediated area adjacent to the wetland
Steel mill byproduct material was stabilized, capped, and vegetated along the Black River

Coldwater assisted the City of Lorain in obtaining a $15 million grant from USEPA, funding the Black River AOC Remediation and Restoration Program. The program consists of projects located in the lacustrine portion of the Black River within the City of Lorain. These projects focus on remediation and restoration of areas impacted by former steel mills and bulkheading of the river banks.  These areas are being remediated and restored to native riparian habitat. Coldwater is assisting the City of Lorain with site assessment, permitting, design, construction oversight, biological monitoring, public outreach, and grant management tasks.

The focus of the Reclamation Site Restoration Project is the restoration of the physical conditions of the Black River’s riparian area and improving the quality of the hydrology in the floodplain wetland. Existing steel mill byproduct material (slag) within the Black River riparian zone and along a small tributary was stabilized, capped, and vegetated. The containment of this material will improve stormwater management and runoff quality. These areas were covered with soil and re-vegetated to prevent rainfall from conveying pollutants towards the river.

The capping and vegetating of the steel mill slag will also improve water quality within the floodplain wetland; a main source of hydrology for the wetland is runoff from the adjacent slag piles.  To enhance the wetland, native woody plantings were installed to improve plant diversity.

Coldwater provided daily construction observation and overall project management for the construction phase of the project. Coldwater field representatives assisted in providing stormwater inspections and ensuring that the completed work was done per the project plans and specifications. Additionally, Coldwater provided field direction to the contractor to address changed conditions, and reviewed submittals and RFI’s.  Construction was recently completed.

Coldwater provided construction management services, overseeing the project construction through record rainfalls in 2018-2019, with only minor impacts to project schedule and within the allocated grant budget.

PROJECT ELEMENTS:

Wetland Restoration
Brownfield Restoration
Grant Writing
Native Planting Plans
Invasive Species Control

Planning
Biological Assessments
Environmental Permitting
Public Outreach
Construction Management