Lowellville dam removal project approved by EPA, construction to begin in spring
By Graig Graziosi
The village of Lowellville has been approved by the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency to begin the long-awaited removal of the First Street dam on the Mahoning River.
The $2.3 million project will be funded through use of the state’s Water Resource Restoration Sponsorship program.
Mayor James Iudiciani said he received the news Wednesday and that there will be a ribbon-cutting event marking the beginning of the project, to be announced at a later date.
Construction on the project is expected to begin in March 2019.
The removal of the dam is a key component to the village’s comprehensive plan for revitalizing and re-branding the city.
“It’s the gateway to the redevelopment of the river, the village and the Mahoning Valley as well as the revitalization of our downtown,” Iudiciani said.
After the removal, the village will begin work to install a canoe and kayak livery along the river’s shore using Ohio Department of Natural Resources grants. Marucci and Gaffney Excavating will work alongside RiverWorks, a team of engineers, construction specialists and biologists who specialize in river- and stream-based construction projects. RiverWorks previously removed dams on the Cuyahoga River near Cuyahoga Falls.
According to the village’s approved management plan for the project, the dam is expected to be removed by August or September 2019.
After the removal, the project teams will stabilize the banks of the river and plant new vegetation to help return the river to its natural state.
The removal is sponsored by the city of Canton. In 2015, Iudiciani visited Canton to consult and provide assistance to city leaders regarding its sewage systems. Iudiciani said the project has been at least two years in the making.