bluff stabilization

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.”


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 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 of Kenai

 

The Kenai city council approved another small step forward for the city’s long awaited bluff stabilization project at its meeting Wednesday. The council approved spending $1 million in support of the pre-construction engineering and design phase of the project.