Share this article

print logo

Dunkirk breakwater project nears completion

DUNKIRK – The breakwater replacement project at the Dunkirk beach area is nearly complete after two time extensions, the Dunkirk Finance Committee learned Wednesday.

Lake Erie rose as much as 2 feet above its normal levels, Curt R. Krempa, an engineer for Nussbaumer and Clark, said while delivering an update on the project.

“It is progressing,” Krempa said. “It is not the contractor’s fault – his equipment was getting swamped.”

Early spring and summer conditions including high water and winds were dangerous for the contractor, St. George Construction, he said. The breakwater has been replaced from the Roberts Road area to Wright Park.

Krempa said he expects the project will be substantially complete by Oct. 31 – the new deadline. The first deadline was in August.

Krempa said the breakwater has been replaced with a precast concrete block wall and a railing and sidewalk has been added. There is about 2,800 feet of new construction. An additional 875 feet of wall has been repaired.

“Budgetary constraints dictated that we could not do the full length of the wall,” said Krempa.

The total project is costing $4.2 million.

City Treasurer Mark Woods talked about the long-term financing for the project. He said 75 percent of the cost will be paid through general fund revenue and the remainder, from the wastewater and sewer fund.

“The theory was that if the (breakwater) were to collapse, it could damage the storm sewer in that area,” Woods said.

He said the city will finance the cost over 25 years – the cost of the work added to city water system improvements, for a total of $13.5 million in long-term bonding.

In other matters, officials noted there were several major expenses in the city budget this year, including many major waterline breaks. Woods noted there have been drastic reductions in water use, draining revenue in the water fund to help pay for repairs.