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Boreal Community Media

Video: Duluth provides update on Phase III of Lakewalk Restoration

Mar 05, 2020 03:59PM ● By Editor

Watch the WDIO-TV Report here

The gravel carriage path along Canal Park's shore to the Marine Museum will remain open for pedestrian traffic during construction. Photo: WDIO-TV

By Emily Ness of WDIO-TV - March 4, 2020

Three powerful storms that surged along the shores of Lake Superior in 2017 and 2018 left Duluth’s acclaimed Lakewalk in shambles—prompting a multi-phase approach to restoration. On Wednesday, the City of Duluth provided an update on the third and final phase of the project. This phase entails building a manmade shoreline along Canal Park to hold back the waves of Mother Nature.

Mike LeBeau, Construction & Energy Project Supervisor says the shoreline will be constructed with 67,000 tons of stone purchased from a quarry north of Two Harbors. According to LeBeau, each stone weighs anywhere from 6 to 12 tons and all have been examined by a geologist for cracks to insure that they will withstand Lake Superior’s waves. Soon, these stones will be carefully placed along the shore of Canal Park to form a barrier.

“They pick each rock and they have to be set in such a way that they are touching three other rocks in a certain configuration,” LeBeau said.

The gravel carriage path along Canal Parks shore to the Marine Museum will remain open for pedestrian traffic during construction

The barrier will include a concrete wall that will be mostly underground—rising two feet above the boardwalk. LeBeau says there have been some concerns about the impact this will have on views from first floor buildings. However, for the most part, LeBeau says businesses recognize the importance.

“It’s a popular place and we’re coming into the season when there are a lot of people here so I’m trying hard to stay in touch with them. It’s been great so far,” LeBeau said.

According to LeBeau, the new wooden walkway will go from being six feet wide to ten feet wide and the new asphalt trail will go from being seven feet wide to twelve feet wide. In addition to providing pedestrians more space, LeBeau says this will give emergency vehicles better accessibility should they need it.

Other additions will include new lighting, plantings and storm drains with pipes to take water back out to the lake.

During construction which is set to begin in May, the area will be surrounded with a fence and monitored by security. However, LeBeau says the gravel carriage path along Canal Park's shore to the Marine Museum will remain open for pedestrian traffic.

Collectively, the project is estimated to cost $15 million and the city hopes to complete construction by Winter 2020.

“There’s a renewed understanding of the increased strength of the storms that we’re seeing all over the country and so this is in response to that. It just takes stronger stuff that’s up higher retreating away from the water essentially,” LeBeau said.

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