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Port digs into rock wall deal
POULSBO After missing grant opportunities and each others points for the past several months, Port of Poulsbo Commissioners and members of the Poulsbo City Council will finally sit down together tonight and discuss the joint challenge they face at Waterfront Park.
The parks enormous rock retaining wall has been sloughing for about a quarter century but recent erosion problems at the site have made the some-day project a must-do item for both entities. As the bulkhead continues to corrode, the citys risk of losing highly popular features at the park increases. Meanwhile, with rocks falling into existing marina area, the ports moorage space decreases.
We want to recover some of that depth at the dock, Commissioner Tony DeCarlo explained during a special meetinf Monday. The citys fire pit is being undermined, same with the Kvelstad Pavilion I dont think either will last two more years.
Neither the port nor the city wants to find out.
With this in mind, the commissioners and Randi Thurston of the Department of Fish and Wildlife met to review the restoration project as it now stands and to narrow down the huge list of solutions to the growing problem. The port is considering a sheet pile, rock wall and armor to restore the shoreline wall but is uncertain which will be most acceptable, effective and affordable.
My general feeling is that the sheet pile will work to recover the park and keep rock from going under our piers. Its doing that now, Commissioner Mike Winters said, noting that creating a natural beach slope the most environmentally-friendly suggestion of the bunch was simply not feasible. Wed have to go all the way to Front Street.
No matter what route the port and city decide to take, required permits for the project were at least a year out, Thurston said. Having to wait a year for permits will mean pushing the project down the time line even further. Even so, DeCarlo said, no matter what happened in the short-term, he planned on at least getting the renovation proposal off on the right foot.
We dont want to start on a project thats going to fail from the beginning, DeCarlo said.
To assure this didnt happen, Thurston suggested a future meeting between the port, city, National Marine Fisheries Service, Army Corps of Engineers and Department of Fish and Wildlife. Whether all the groups can sit at one table on the matter, she added, has yet to be determined. From her departments standpoint though, Thurston said environmental considerations are numerous.
What we really want is no net loss of habitat, she explained. If we can regain some habitat thats good too.
Were trying to find a happy medium to save the park and get the rock out from under the pier, Winters said. We just want to do whats right.