CLEVELAND (AP) - The agency that operates the city's Lake Erie docks endorsed increased lakefront parkland Thursday but said displaced pier space must be replaced to avoid job losses.
"Should the port need to vacate any of these docks, replacing our capacity is essential to preserve our manufacturing industries and their jobs," said Gary Failor, executive director of the Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority.
TranSystems, a maritime consulting firm, analyzed the port's pier requirements as part of a continuing study of how to provide better public access to the lakefront, a move backed by Mayor Jane Campbell.
"The capacity study showed that vacating docks will need quick replacement to maintain our cargo-handling capabilities, as soon as one or two years after implementation," said Sterling Glover, port authority board chairman.
The city is considering moving the lakefront Shoreway highway away from Lake Erie to open 350 city-owned acres to development of parks, homes and businesses. Some port authority dock space is leased from the city.
The port handles about 14 million tons of cargo yearly.