bluff erosion

Sabine Poux/KDLL

Dave Salter’s yard is, quite literally, falling into the ocean. He didn’t know it was going to happen so fast when he bought the place on Toyon Way, in Kenai.

“The agent that showed us the property said, ‘Oh, a few inches a year,'" he said. "And being from Texas, I didn’t know any better.”


Photo: Sabine Poux/KDLL

Alaska’s senators joined most of their colleagues last week in voting for a massive infrastructure bill that would combine $550 billion in new spending, plus $1 trillion in previously approved spending, to update highways, salmon passageways and other facilities around the U.S. 

The bill still has to clear the House. But Larry Burton, chief of staff for Republican Sen. Dan Sullivan, said he thinks there’s a lot for Alaskans to look forward to in the bill. He briefed a crowd of sportfishermen at the Kenai Classic Roundtable on Recreational Fishing in Soldotna on Wednesday.


City of Kenai

Kenai is negotiating a contract with engineering firm HDR for the design phase of the bluff stabilization project.

It’s the latest step in a decades-long project to stop property on a 5,000-foot stretch of the Kenai bluff from falling into the river. The city hopes to have a berm constructed at the foot of the bluff to prevent further erosion from waves and storms.

City of Kenai

The city of Kenai’s decades-long effort to stop the Kenai River bluff erosion that’s eating away an average three feet a year of valuable Old Town property reached a milestone this week. By Monday, the city and Army Corps of Engineers will have signed a preconstruction engineering and design agreement. 

City manager Paul Ostrander said that’s cause for celebration.

“Big news on the bluff erosion project, absolutely,” he said.

The agreement begins the design phase of the project, which should take about a year.

“That planning phase, which, like I said, is 30 days following the singing of the PED agreement by the district commander, is key in outlining what, exactly, it’s going to look like,” Ostrander said.

City of Kenai

The Kenai bluff stabilization project is another step closer to construction, after decades of effort by the city to stop Kenai River bluff property from inexorably crumbling into the water.

At its Aug. 18 meeting, the council gave City Manager Paul Ostrander the go-ahead to sign a PED — preconstruction engineering and design — agreement with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Ostrander said the agreement is the culmination of about three years of work.

“This is really a significant milestone and this allows the actual design of the project to begin,” Ostrander said.

The city of Kenai has been working on a way to stabilize its eroding bluffs for nigh on four decades. The city is now in the final phase of pre-construction design before being able to lock down funding and potentially get the project on the ground.

The bluffs that the city of Kenai sits on have been eroding, badly, for years. As the groundwater goes out, it pushes material out of the bluff to the bottom, where the river perpetually washes it away, accelerating the erosion. If the material falling out could build up, it could establish a slope over time that plants could grow on, making a more stable bluff that could in turn protect the buildings on top from tumbling into the river.

City seeks accelerated funding for bluff erosion project

Dec 21, 2018
Redoubt Reporter

 

There could be some major developments for the long-planned bluff erosion project in Kenai in 2019.

Kenai purchases beach property for erosion control

Mar 23, 2018
City of Kenai

 

The city of Kenai continues to pick up parcels of land along the bluff in anticipation of a major bluff erosion project.