The scenic area of Route 303 that crosses over Furnace Run at the bottom of two hills has experienced severe erosion, according to the Ohio Department of Transportation.
In 2020, ODOT repaired the roadway by stabilizing the embankment with rocks and modifying the drainage on the berm of the roadway. Next, it will work on the Furnace Run stream bed.
In collaboration with Summit Metroparks and Cuyahoga Valley National Park, ODOT has developed a long-term solution by realigning the stream channel. The channel has migrated to form a sharp bend just before the SR 303 bridge, causing increased velocity of flow that resulted in severe erosion.
ODOT will install rock structures along the banks to direct the flow under the bridge. In addition, it will plant native riparian vegetation in the floodplain and place biodegradable coir matting fabric over the vegetation. Large logs placed perpendicular to the stream in sod mats and live plantings will also stabilize the stream bank. The plantings and the logs will create an ecological habitat and improve water quality in Furnace Run.
Construction is planned for 2022 on land owned by Summit Metro Parks in Furnace Run Metro Park. Access will be through the national park.
Said Lisa Petit, superintendent of Cuyahoga Valley National Park, “The project seems to be an innovative approach that protects infrastructure while meeting resource conservation goals of the Cuyahoga Valley National Park and Summit Metro Parks.”