As part of my role on the stormwater team I do active construction site inspections. The construction sites are located throughout Cuyahoga County and, for the most part, are very similar in nature – either a city site surrounded by buildings or a suburban site in a residential area. However, I have one site that has an incredible view and that’s the Euclid Shoreline Trail project. This is one of my favorite sites to visit because it is located on the shoreline of Lake Erie and makes me excited for the possibility of similar projects in the future.
For my blog I wanted to provide a project update on Phase 1 of this project. Construction started late in 2018 and today there are portions of the trail that can already be used. During my January inspection I was able to walk along paved trail on the western half of the project, next to the Sims Park Pier. It was a cold windy day, but that didn’t stop about four other people enjoying the recently paved trail. It was amazing walking along a lakeside bike trail right here in Cuyahoga County. The eastern end of the trail is soon to follow as the embankment grading was being worked on during my inspection. The rest of the trail should be paved in May and the project is projected to be complete in June. When this phase of the project is complete there will be ¾ mile of new lakeshore trail. Go check it out!!
The new lakeshore trail not only provides much needed public lake access, but shoreline stabilization. Lakefront erosion has been an issue since lakefront development, but the climate is shifting – the water levels of Lake Erie are higher and extreme weather is more frequent making erosion an emergency issue for some. The mild winter temperatures play a key role in the detrimental erosion we have seen along the lakeshore, for example Cleveland.com reported Geneva-on-the-Lake lost 45 feet (!!!) of land in just 10 days.
I mentioned before I was excited for the possibility of more projects like the Euclid Shoreline Trail and I know I am not the only one. Another Cleveland.com article highlighted the demand for a county long waterfront trail. Euclid has set the example that this is possible and very much needed. We need to plan for the demands of our shifting climate and while we meet those demands it will provide a place for everyone to enjoy lakefront views and recreation. Until then, stay involved in your community and advocate for these shoreline improvements. I know I will!
Blog Author: Megan Smith, Stormwater Specialist