U.S. Army Corps of Engineers personnel and equipment from Kewaunee are mobilized at Two Rivers’ Lake Michigan harbor to undertake emergency repairs to the south breakwater.
The tugs Kenosha and Racine, and the crane barge Manitowoc are at work on this project.
The south breakwater was extended further into Lake Michigan in 2003, in conjunction with a repair and rehabilitation project in 2003, to serve as a “wave attenuating structure.”
The new structure was essentially a rubble mound with a poured concrete cap/walkway, intended to help dissipate the energy of waves rolling into the harbor channel from Lake Michigan.
The need for emergency repairs was first noted in the Summer of 2015, when local U.S. Coast Guard personnel noticed that armor stone around the tip of the breakwater had settled or become displaced, causing the concrete walkway to be undermined.
Over the past two years, the City has worked with our Federal representatives to secure Federal funding for both emergency repairs and a long-term “fix” to this problem.
In May of this year, we learned that $500,000 for emergency repairs had been added to the Corps’ 2017 work plan to address this situation.
Over the next week or so, the Corps will be placing small diameter stone along either side of the walkway at the outer end of the pier, to block off the sides of the void beneath the walkway.
They will bore holes through the concrete cap and concrete trucks will drive out onto the pier (but not onto the 2003 extension) to pump an estimated 20-30 cubic yards of concrete into the void.
Additional armor stone will then be placed around the outer tip of the structure, to better protect it against the forces of Lake Michigan.
Thanks to our Federal representative—Senators Baldwin and Johnson and Congressman Grothman, and their staffs—for helping push for funding for these emergency repairs.
While we appreciate the funding for these repairs, the fact that it took two years to secure funding for an “emergency” situation is illustrative of the lack of funding for maintaining and upgrading harbor infrastructure all over the Great Lakes.
…Infrastructure that is important to small port cities like Two Rivers, as we strive to capitalize on our water resources and “turn our face back to the water.”
TR Waterfront Redevelopment Featured in WI Coastal Management Publication
Speaking of “Turning Our Face Back to the Water,” Two River’s waterfront redevelopment efforts are featured in an article in the 2017 Great Lakes Coastal Chronicle, an annual report by Wisconsin’s Coastal Management Program.
There’s a link to the article on the City’s website, www.two-rivers.org.
Proposed Marine Sanctuary: Learn From Alpena, Michigan
In light of some of the recent opposition to the proposed Wisconsin-Lake Michigan National Marine Sanctuary, it is instructive to hear local perspectives from Alpena, Michigan, the largest coastal community within Lake Huron’s Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary.
The Thunder Bay Sanctuary has been in place since 2000, and community leaders cite considerable benefits from the Sanctuary in their community of 10,500.
I have spoken to their city manager, who credits the sanctuary with a renewed interest in Alpena’s downtown, and in forging effective partnerships with the area technical colleges.
City Council member Mark Bittner has also reached out to community leaders in Alpena, who view the Thunder Bay Sanctuary as a great asset to their home town. TR-Manitowoc area residents have traveled on their own to Alpena, to learn firsthand of the sanctuary’s positive impact, and have shared their findings.
Bill Speer, Editor/Publisher of the Alpena News, offered his perspectives in an editorial on September 23, noting similarities between the opposition he is reading about here in Wisconsin and “ghosts from Alpena’s past.”
Quoting from Mr. Speer’s editorial, “In Northeast Michigan NOAA officials have delivered as promised.”
Read the editorial yourself. Just do an internet search for “Alpena News the similarities between sanctuaries.”
Reminder: Apple Fest This Weekend
The TR Lions’ annual Apple Fest will be in Central Park and the Hamilton Community House this Saturday from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM. Lots of fresh apples from area growers, along with brats, burgers, apple desserts, and lots of Fall and Christmas craft items.
Reminder: Holy Family Lakefront Campus Open House
HFM will welcome the community to a ribbon-cutting and open house at its beautiful new Lakefront Campus here in Two Rivers, Saturday from 9:00 AM to noon.
Thank you, Holy Family Memorial, for this major investment in our community!
Two Rivers City Manager Greg Buckley can be contacted by calling 920-793-5532 or by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org.