A Kalifornsky Beach Road resident is concerned that erosion near Mile 9 of the highway could lead to some serious problems.
Rick Butler, who lives near Mile 11 on the bluff side of K-Beach Road, has been watching the erosion feature worsen during the past two years. He said other area residents are concerned as well.
Alaska State Department of Transportation and Public Facilities spokesperson Jill Reese said the department has been monitoring the area.
“Our maintenance guys drive every road we own down there at least once a week so they have a pretty good handle on it,” Reese said.
At this time Reese said DOT&PF doesn’t have any plans to do work on the feature at Mile 9.7, and said the department is working on other erosion mitigation projects on the Kenai Peninsula.
“Until (erosions) get to be where they’re looking like they’re going to be in the traveled way or in the clear zone, we have to take … the worst and then work on that one and then go to the next one,” she said.
The Kenai Peninsula Borough is also watching the erosion at Mile 9.7, Max Best, planning director said.
Best said experts look at the drainage exit from the swamp on the east side of K-Beach Road to determine whether or not additional attention is necessary based on the water flow and erosion rates.
“You might be able to slow the erosion down through some riprap or something at this time, if it was going to eat the road away,” Best said.
Butler rides his all-terrain vehicle on the beach by the feature often and has been photographing the erosion. He thinks at least temporary mitigation project is warranted.
In 2012, a flood-related washout temporarily closed K-Beach Road at Mile 11. Butler is concerned that a similar event could happen at Mile 9.7.
“Someone could easily get killed there if that washes out at night or something,” he said.
Butler said if the area does washout, it won’t affect him much because he doesn’t travel south on K-Beach Road often.
Last November a row of willows on the bluff started to fail and the last of those trees are falling over, Butler said.
“That whole bluff there in several places it’s bad, but that is just critical right there and now the last roots are gone,” Butler said.
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