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Mt. Pleasant has 'many options' to fix erosion problem

Erosion due to Lake Michigan's rising water level
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Posted at 12:47 PM, Aug 04, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-04 13:48:45-04

The Army Corps of Engineers said the earliest the federal government could provide funding to Mt. Pleasant to assist in the repair of its eroding bluffs along Lake Michigan is this October.

Army Corps of Engineers public affairs specialist Lt. Erica Mitchell said the village has asked the Corps to complete a Continuing Authorities, Section 14 study of the area.

“Section 14 authorizes limited emergency streambank and shoreline erosion protection of public works and non-profit public services,” Mitchell said via email.

She said Mt. Pleasant can follow “many options” for a long-term fix to the erosion, which is threatening more than a dozen homes in the village’s Lake Park Neighborhood.

The erosion is due to Lake Michigan’s rising water level.

Racine County Executive Jonathan Delagrave has issued a declaration of emergency over the erosion. The county recently contracted trucks to haul up large, donated slabs of concrete from a construction site in Illinois. Residents in the area can use the concrete to shore up the land below their properties.

“The corps is just for deciding on where there is a viable project that fits the Section 14 authority and protects public property,” Mitchell said.

She also said the Section 14 program is not authorized to provide protection of private structures.

“However, the authority can protect public infrastructure such as public buildings, major roads and utilities,” Mitchell said.  

She said there could be several long-term solutions to slowing or stopping the erosion, and that a suggestion from the Corps would follow a roughly 2-year study.

“The village can certainly work several alternatives at once through other means to solve their problem,” Mitchell said. “The Corps is not the ultimate decision maker, but would offer one suggestion that the village could consider. It is too early to say what might be cost effective for this area. Funding has been requested. The earliest it may be received is in October 2016, but it could take longer depending on availability of Federal funds."