Erosion of the Kenai bluff near the Kenai Senior Center. (Photo by Aidan Curtin courtesy Scott Curtin)

Erosion of the Kenai bluff near the Kenai Senior Center. (Photo by Aidan Curtin courtesy Scott Curtin)

Ribbon-cutting for bluff stabilization project set for June 10

The bluff has been eroding at a rate of around 3 feet per year

The City of Kenai will hold a ribbon-cutting for the Bluff Stabilization Project in early June, marking the start of work on the long-developing project.

The ceremony will be held Monday, June 10 at 9 a.m. in the Kenai Senior Center, according to a release from the city on Tuesday.

During a State of the City presentation last month, City Manager Terry Eubank said the project has been Kenai’s “number one priority for 30 years.” The project aims to stabilize roughly 5,000 feet of bluff on the Kenai River’s north shore by constructing a berm at its toe. The bluff has been eroding at a rate of around 3 feet per year.

The project advanced significantly under the federal Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act in 2022. U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski secured $28 million in federal funds, and $6.5 came from the State of Alaska’s capital budget that fiscal year, according to previous Clarion reporting.

A contract was awarded to Seattle-based Western Marine Construction in February, who will for $19.3 million place about 42,400 cubic yards of armor rock, 33,200 cubic yards of crushed rock and 13,100 cubic yards of gravel base. Construction is scheduled for completion by February 2026.

Eubank said in April that because of the federal and state grant funding the project will not cost city taxpayers “a dime.” Though the ribbon-cutting will happen locally in June, he said there likely won’t be much local activity this summer, as the contractors will be testing and manufacturing the material for the berm.

“I think 2025 is going to be an incredibly busy time down there,” he said.

More information about the Kenai Bluffs Bank Stabilization Project can be found at kenai.city/publicworks.

Reach reporter Jake Dye at jacob.dye@peninsulaclarion.com.

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