Source: Cleveland Heights hires engineering firm for review of recommendation to remove Horseshoe Lake dam –

CLEVELAND HEIGHTS, Ohio — The city has hired its engineering firm to conduct a peer review of the Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District’s recommendation to remove Horseshoe Lake dam and restore Doan Brook to its earlier natural state.

Gannett Fleming Engineers and Architects, based in Camp Hill, Pa., with an office in Fairlawn, agreed last month to do the assessment for $9,000. Plans are to complete the initial review within two weeks of the city’s notice to proceed.

From there, Gannett Fleming will take part in a virtual meeting with city officials to present its findings and answer questions, with written commentary to be provided within two weeks of that, according to a “scope of services” agreement.

Meanwhile, Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District CEO Kyle Dreyfuss-Wells sent an update to Cleveland Heights council last week also asking that the city “consider its concurrence with our recommended approach by Nov. 8.”

On Sept. 27, Shaker Heights City Council approved its “resolution of concurrence” with the NEORSD recommendations, also being sought from Cleveland Heights council as well, since both cities lease the designated parkland from the City of Cleveland.

Cleveland Heights council decided last month to seek a “second opinion” on the $28.3 million proposal to remove the lake and dam, as well as keeping Lower Shaker Lake intact with a refortified dam and dredging — at no cost to either city.

“We are confident in our recommendation to the cities of Shaker Heights and Cleveland Heights to restore Doan Brook through removal of Horseshoe Lake dam,” Dreyfuss-Wells stated.

The Gannett Fleming peer review will likely include “hydrologic and hydraulic analyses and an evaluation of engineering alternatives to address identified deficiencies, and that the evaluations may also consider geotechnical, environmental and economic considerations,” the scope of services summary states.

At the same time, extra services that are not part of the initial review but could be added upon request from Cleveland Heights officials would include “site visits and in-person meetings (that) are not expected to be required and are not included in the scope of services,” Gannett Fleming officials stated.

As for the requested Nov. 8 deadline, Dreyfuss-Wells said, “We believe this proposed timeline allows Cleveland Heights to evaluate Gannett Fleming’s review while subsequently demonstrating unity to the communities and proposing consultants prior to the Request for Proposals (RFP) due date.”

Cleveland Heights City Manager Susanna Niermann O’Neil notified council of the pick on Sept. 24, the same day that NEORSD issued its RFP for the Horseshoe dam removal project to interested landscape architect and civil engineering firms.

The regional sewer district’s RFPs are due Nov. 12, and the request for Cleveland Heights council to concur with the recommendation before that “also advances the process of addressing the public safety concerns as quickly as possible.”

With consultant interviews planned for the week of Dec. 13, Cleveland Heights has also been asked to pick two city employees to sit on the review/scoring committee evaluating the proposals and to attend a pre-proposal meeting scheduled for Wednesday (Oct. 6).
“We also invite Cleveland Heights to name up to six other individuals to be non-scoring members that observe the consultant interviews,” Dreyfuss-Wells added, noting that Shaker Heights is invited to do the same — both cities by Dec. 1.
Dreyfuss-Wells noted that Gannett Fleming will likely be reviewing a multiyear, $10 million study known as the Chagrin River and Lake Erie Direct Tributaries Stormwater Master Plan (“CHALET SWMP”).
“We appreciate the need for your process,” she wrote. “As you know, Horseshoe Lake dam is in an active state of failure and the Ohio Department of Natural Resources ordered the cities to drain the lake. The lake will still fill under certain wet weather conditions.

“The dam’s possible uncontrolled breach and consequent threat to public health, safety, welfare and property dictates that responsible parties move forward with a solution as quickly as possible,” Dreyfuss-Wells continued.

“For that reason, we are proceeding with the RFP concurrent with the city’s review.”