Euclid Creek East Branch Dam Removal and

Stream Restoration Project

Euclid Creek Metroparks Reservation, Euclid, Ohio


The Euclid Creek East Branch Dam was located in the Euclid Creek Watershed on the East Branch of Euclid Creek, a tributary to Lake Erie that is heavily urbanized and affected by urban runoff and habitat degradation.  The dam was located near the confluence of the East Branch and the Euclid Creek mainstem in the Euclid Creek Metropark Reservation.  Highland Road crosses the East Branch on a high bridge over the dam.

The dam was removed in December 2010.  The low head dam that was constructed in the early 1930's to impound water for swimming at a YMCA camp and had not served this or any other essential purpose in decades.  The original pool behind the dam had completely filled with sediment.  The dam was approximately 6 feet high and constructed of concrete, and was an impediment to fish migration upstream from the mainstem of Euclid Creek. 

The dam and abutments were removed and 704 linear feet (lf) of stream was restored to a more natural grade and geometry.  The goals of this project were to: 1) Reintroduce and re-establish native fish species; 2) Increase recreational fishing opportunities; 3) Restore aquatic habitat diversity to the watershed; 4) Restore natural flow in the lower reaches of the watershed; 5) Provide fish passage to the upper reaches of the East Branch to further enhance the health of this sub-watershed; and 6) Assist in restoring Euclid Creek to reach State of Ohio water quality attainment standards.

Click image below to see video of dam removal, December 2010

Project Partners: ODNR, Divisions of Fish and Wildlife and Soil & Water, City of Euclid, Cleveland Metroparks, Cuyahoga County Engineer, Cuyahoga Soil & Water Conservation District, Ohio EPA, Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District, and Friends of Euclid Creek.

Land Owner: Cleveland Metroparks

Grants Manager: Cuyahoga Soil & Water Conservation District

Design Consultant: Burgess & Niple

Construction Management Entity: Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District

Project Costs:

Design and Engineering      $135,125

Construction                      $493,644     (includes construction administration and oversight costs)



Project Funding:

For Design and Engineering:

    $30,100   US Fish & Wildlife Service, Midwest Region, Fish Passage Program

    $27,000   ODNR, Division of Wildlife

    $23,000   ODNR, Division of Wildlife through USFWS


For Construction:

    $300,000  Ohio EPA, Water Resource Restoration Sponsor Program (WRRSP) (as match for Ohio EPA 319 Program)

    $235,428  Ohio EPA 319 Program


Aerial Location Map

Design Details:

The graphic below shows a plan view of the dam removal and stream restoration project, designed by consultant Burgess & Niple.  The engineering was more complicated than most low-head dam removal projects because Highland Road, a major County roadway, travels over this section of Euclid Creek.  The footers of the bridge were just upstream of the dam and required careful engineering to keep the roadway overhead stable.  In addition, urban streams experience ‘flashy flows’ in storms, meaning that water rises rapidly and quickly causing major erosion and damage to bug and fish habitat.  Therefore the design had to take into account these unpredictable water fluctuations. 

The design incorporated natural stream design, mimicking the riffle, run and pool geometry of unaltered natural streams.  The first step in the project was to remove the dam, a 6 foot tall concrete structure.  The second step was installing three structures which include placing large stones in the stream to direct flow, slow flow down, prevent erosion, and protect the bridge piers.  Two cross veins (show in yellow in the graphic below) control the stream grade, dissipate the energy of the water, and direct the water flow to the center of the stream away from the bridge footers.  A gabion mattress (green shaded area) was installed below the bridge to protect the bridge footers and to prevent degradation of the bedrock below.  A boulder-cobble run (blue shaded structures) acts as grade control to mimic existing run features found in natural streams and incorporates low flow pathways and resting pools to allow small fish to move upstream.  Excavated scour pools (pink shaded areas) also mimic the slow moving pools in natural streams to allow fish to rest and move upstream.  Excavated material behind the dam was allowed to flow downstream as the stream has been starved of this important sediment for years.  Last of all, native plants were planted along the stream to provide habitat for fish and bugs. 
































Project Publications & News:


Euclid Creek Newsletters articles about project:


Articles about Project:


Project Monitoring:


Project Resources:


Project Status:


Bid/Construction Schedule:

  • Project to Bid: Tuesday, July 6, 2010
  • Pre-Bid Conference Info. Mtg.:  Wednesday, July 14 at 10:00am - Environmental Maintenance Services Center - 4747 E. 49th St., Cuyahoga Hts., OH 44125
  • Bid Proposal Due Date: Friday, August 6, 2010
  • Award: Thursday, September 16, 2010 at NEORSD Board Meeting - to Great Lakes Construction Company of Hinckley, Ohio. 
    • Cost: $381,584.95
  • Pre-Construction Meeting: Tuesday, October 12, 2010 at 1:00pm - Environmental Maintenance Services Center - 4747 E. 49th St., Cuyahoga Hts., OH 44125
  • Construction Start Date: October 18, 2010
  • October to November: Construction staging area and access roads were prepared; a stream pump around system was installed so construction could occur in dry weather conditions; and the gabion mattress baskets were started.
  • December 7, 2010: the East Branch dam was removed
  • Late December: remainder of gabion mattress installed, cross vane and boulder cobble run structures completed (see 'Design Details' section above for explanation of structures and their function in the natural stream design)
  • Spring 2011: plantings to complete riparian restoration, Metroparks' staff designed and installed interpretive signage, fencing and park benches at Upper Highland Picnic Area overlook.
  • Dam Removal Celebration: Thursday, April 21, 2011 from 5:00-7:00pm - Euclid Creek Reservation - Upper Highland Reservable Picnic Area - Event Agenda


Jobs Created/Retained due to Project = 36-38

  • 20 people worked on design, surveying, field admin and constructions services

  • 11 people worked on the construction portion of the project

  • 5-7 will work on the riparian plantings in 2011


Construction Photos:



For more information, please contact Claire Posius, Euclid Creek Watershed Coordinator, 216-524-6580x16 or email cposius@cuyahogaswcd.org.



Euclid Creek Watershed Coordinator, Claire Posius Friends of Euclid Creek   Euclid Creek Watershed Council Communities
Cuyahoga Soil & Water Conservation District P.O. Box 21384   City of Beachwood, City of Cleveland, City of Euclid,
6100 West Canal Road South Euclid, Ohio 44121-0384

City of Highland Heights, City of Lyndhurst, City of Mayfield Heights,

Valley View, Ohio 44125 FriendsofEuclidCreek@gmail.com   Village of Mayfield, City of Richmond Heights, and City of South Euclid
cposius@cuyahogaswcd.org Like 'Friends of Euclid Creek' on Facebook!  

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