The work that is taking place is the first phase of the site
restoration of the Jaite Mill site. That work is primarily removal of all the above ground structures.
I have attached the scope of work that is ongoing.
Long term efforts, which are not funded, will require an
environmental assessment to determine how much of the fill material will be removed. Conceptually we would like to develop a trail along the rail bed,
acrossthe river and connect to the Buckeye and Jaite. There is no funding
He also attached a 13-page document that detailed all their plans and work. I copied some highlights, and put them behind a cut for those interested.
The approximately 24-acre Jaite Paper Mill Site is located on the natural floodplain between the Cuyahoga River and Brandywine Creek in Cuyahoga Valley National Park, about 15 miles south of Cleveland. The Mill Site is approximately one-half mile south of Vaughn/Highland Road on a dirt road, immediately adjacent to the very popular and highly used Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail. The first mill buildings were originally constructed in 1905; when the mill ended operations in 1984, the building complex had grown to a size of about 123,000 square feet (approximately three acres). In 1985, the entire 24-acre Site became part of the Park and the building complex was listed in the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP) and documented in detail by the Historic American Building Survey. A fire in October, 1992, however, severely damaged several buildings and the plant was then de-listed from the NRHP. After the fire the building complex was fenced off, enclosing approximately six acres. See the attached images and maps for further Site information.
Environmental Site Assessments (ESAs) and a Screening Investigation (SI) conducted after the fire by Environmental Mitigation Group found contamination on-site from contaminants that included, but was not limited to, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), asbestos-containing materials (ACM), and petroleum, oil, and lubricant (POL) products. Underground storage tanks (UST) were also found on-site.
To date the following mitigation activities have occurred at the Site:
Removal and disposal of six PCB capacitor banks
Removal and disposal of all drums containing hazardous materials
Removal of underground storage tanks (UST)
After the 1992 fire, removal of significant quantities of asbestos, and demolition and removal of part of the structure
Removal of retrofitted fuel-oil-fired boilers (original coal-fired boilers still remain)
Areas to be demolished have been prioritized by the Park as follows:
a) Baled Paper Storage (#28)
b) Rotary Mixers, Pulp Storage, and Beaters (#17, 18, 19)
c) Wooden Warehouse and Miscellaneous Storage (#1, 2)
d) Box Shop, Rolled Paper Storage, Old Multiwall Paper Storage, and Offices (#3, 4, 5, 6, 7).
e) Mill Supplies Storage, Autos, Vacuum Pumps, and Pump Expansion (#8, 9, 10, 11)
f) Machine Shop, Boiler Room, and Trucks & Repair Shop (#20, 21, 26)
g) Electric Shop & Welding Shop, Machine Shop, Paper Testing, Former Buffalo Steam Fired Pump (#13, 14, 15, 16), and the small wooden building just S of the water tower
h) Former Power House and Former Pulp Mill (#25, 27), including the metal stacks and associated machinery
i) Chemical Storage Tank Area, Storage Room, Welding (#22, 23, 24), and the fenced metal framework (substation?) just W of these buildings (and remove power line back to the pole)
The following features at the Site will be preserved and eventually restored by the Park; all demolition and removal activities must avoid altering or damaging these features:
Water tower structure
Railroad bumper post at the southeast end of the building complex
Railroad spurline along the south edge of the building complex
Ohio & Erie Canal remnant east of building complex
So there you have it. Though I'm disappointed such a great exploration site is disappearing, I'm glad to see the NPS is doing something positive with it. I'll keep tabs on what's going on with it and keep the community informed.