Updated: June 02, 2021 09:27 AM
Created: June 01, 2021 09:50 PM
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the City of Duluth are now acting on their plan to remove debris placed on Park Point Beach during 2020 beach nourishment.
As a result, the section between 7th Street and 10th Street is now closed, so that crews can clean up material that was accidentally dumped during dredging operations last fall.
When you walk on Park Point Beach by the Lift Bridge, you will see orange barrels signaling the section between 7th Street and 10th Street is closed.
Earlier this spring, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers conducted a survey where they found about a gallons worth of aluminum cans, taconite pellets, nails, and other manmade debris in the area.
The Corps accidentally dumped that material last August and September, during a dredging operation that the city requested to restore the beach.
"Although the material was small, small in relative sake for the amount of material that was placed out there, we aren't discounting that at all, and we're taking that very seriously, and working with the city to develop a plan to get that cleaned up," said U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Chief of Construction & Survey Corey Weston.
To clean up the material, the Corps is going to be using a mechanical beach rake that picks up the top six inches of sand, and sifts it.
"And I think it's safe to say that when they are done with that, the top six inches of sand will be as clean as the sand has been on Park Point in a long time," said City of Duluth Director of Parks, Properties, and Libraries Jim Filby Williams.
That's welcome news for beachgoers.
"I look forward to it. I really do," said Lesa Carl of Duluth.
"It will be really good to not see any of this anymore when we come down here," said Rex Mata of Duluth.
Even if it means a little bit of headache in the meantime.
"I'm pretty bummed to have it closed just because I love Park Point, but I think it will be good to have it cleaned up," said Brooke Heikkila of Duluth. "It's kind of been dirty the past few years, so it'd be nice to have it really pristine," she said.
Work to clean up the beach will be done in three phases, but it isn't known at this time how long the work will last.