Lakeshore may move inland

Lakeshore+may+move+inland

Trinity Carey

Lakeshore Boulevard may move more inland if a $10 million grant application from the City of Marquette is accepted by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (ACE).

The application, which was accepted by the ACE for further consideration on Monday, April 16, will grant the city the funds to move Lakeshore Boulevard to the other side of the bike path, which would prevent the road from sustaining further damage during storms, said Marquette City Manager Mike Angeli.

“Obviously, we have some continuous and serious issues with the wave action there and it’s just destroying any revetment (rock wall) that we’ve had on the property around the shoreline for decades now,” Angeli said. “Anything along the shoreline of that nature, when it comes to repairing it, is expensive.”

The $10 million being asked for is based off the city’s last estimate from a four-year-old comprehensive plan that included a complete restructuring of the shoreline, including a new road and other construction, Angeli added.

According to the ACE website, the purpose of the Section 111 program is to determine the effect of federal navigation structures on the shoreline, and develop plans for the mitigation of shore damages attributable to those structures. Each project is limited to a federal cost of no more than $5 million.

The city asked for more than $5 million because the ACE extended the breakwater decades ago which the city claims has changed the water pattern around the shoreline, Angeli said.

“We believe that the damage that’s being caused by the wave action along that shoreline is in part caused by the design of the breakwall,” Angeli added.

The next steps in obtaining the grant is for the engineers to review the application further and seek funding within their organization for a review, which may require a technical study of the shoreline, he said.
“I have to assume it’s several months away before we even understand or realize if they are even going to go forward with it,” Angeli said.

Angeli said, if additional funds are needed the city may sell the Cliffs Dow Chemical Co. property—the abandoned charcoal factory just north of the Superior Dome. If sold, a portion of the money used from the sale or development of that property could go toward the Lakeshore project, Angeli said.

“We’ve been working to clean that area of pollutants and it’s almost to the stage now that it could be made available for sale,” he added.
No further erosion has been caused by Marquette’s most recent snow storm, but cleaning up Lakeshore Boulevard after each storm is costly, Angeli added.

“We want to try to stabilize that shoreline as much as possible for both our future development of that property as well as the public’s access to that shoreline,” he said.