After the Storm: City Assesses Minimal Additional Damage to Lakewalk

Brandon Weathers
Created: April 15, 2019 10:10 AM

The City of Duluth wasn't abel to initally assess the damage done to the lakewalk in last week's storm because it was covered in snow and ice. After weekend melting, the city's construction project supervisor Mike LeBeau was able to asess damages Monday.

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“Some things are still covered with ice from what I can see so far. We have some clean-up to do, we lost a little bit more material, but mostly in areas that were already damaged and haven’t been repaired yet,” LeBeau said, concluding that the additional damages were minor.

The latest storm was the fourth to threaten the lakewalk in the last year and a half. The running total in damages to the lakewalk and north along the shoreline is between 25 and 30 million dollars, according to LeBeau. Each storm tore away more of the shoreline and its defenses.

LeBeau said, "a lot of that stone protection that was there is gone, it's out somewhere in the lake, and so this stretch right here, and others up the shore, are quite vulnerable."

Fortunately, the latest storm inadvertently provided the vulnerable sections of shoreline protection. "The storm built slowly and the ice moved down the lake and piled up along the shoreline. As the wind reached the highest levels, the waves were breaking over the ice quite a ways out so I think that saved us from quite a bit of damage," LeBeau said.

Because of this, the long-term construction project will be able to continue as planned without any setbacks. LeBeau said, "we hope to bid that second phase very soon now, and hopefully get an early Spring start here, and hopefully be able to open up the whole lakewalk from here going north by mid to late summer."

The concrete wall section behind Ftigers will eventually extend across Canal Park. This section will be federally funded. "That whole federal funding process will probably mean that Canal Park reconstruction here and some other work up the shore farther will be put off until next year," LeBeau said.

LeBeau acknowledges the potential for additional storms to add damage before the project is complete, but he said with the amount of work to be done and the time needed for the federal funding process, not much can be done to speed up completion.


Brandon Weathers

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