Wall options considered

Alex Doty • Jul 21, 2015 at 11:49 AM

“Right now, we’re still in the discussion phase,” Grand Haven Public Works Director Bill Hunter said.

Hunter said city officials are mulling over a budget and course of action for the wall project. They've also discussed it with the surrounding neighborhood to determine the residents' support of the project.

“We had a town hall meeting about the general direction of the project,” City Manager Pat McGinnis said.

City officials say the wall is failing or has failed. Sand is washing out from behind it, threatening further erosion, and possibly leading to problems for the street and adjacent private properties.

The issue was also discussed at a recent City Council work session.

“(Project consultant) Wade Trim was required in their (project proposal) to look at design, and vehicular and pedestrian traffic,” said Julie Beaton, the city's special project manager. “They’ve done all three and have provided us with some options.”

One option involves constructing a new retaining wall north of the current wall, which requires construction of about 70 feet of wall on private property. The portion of the private lot that would be used has a relatively steep slope and is planted with dune grass, Beaton said.

If the city is unable to acquire the land, they can still move the wall away from the road without entering private property. This would diminish the need for sight-line safety improvements, Beaton explained.

The second option involves constructing a new retaining wall north of the current wall within the city right of way. It would put about 250 feet of a second retaining wall on the south side of Lake Avenue, west of Highland Drive, and shifting the intersection of Lake and Edward avenues a little south.

Both options require dropping the speed limit on the streets to 10 mph to come closer to meeting today's standards. If the first option were done without private property acquisition, it would require a posted speed of 5 mph — barely above a person's walking pace.

To read more of this story, see Saturday’s print or e-edition of the Grand Haven Tribune.

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