Many times in this space, we’ve enc-
ouraged various agencies to finish up with studies of this project or that, and to start moving dirt.
In this case, we’re ready to see the dirt stop moving.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers recently released a report on Kenai’s bluff erosion — which continues at a rate of 3 feet per year even as it’s been studied for nearly two decades. In its report, the Corps found that the cost of stabilizing the bluff is greater than the economic loss of doing nothing, but makes a strong argument for moving forward with the project regardless.
The Corps’ preferred plan involves building a 5,000-foot-long rock berm along the base of the bluff and allowing falling material to fill in behind it over the next several years.
Other plans put forward but not recommended include the same rock berm, but re-grading the bluff’s slope; and relocating the mouth of the Kenai River away from the eroding bluff.
Under the current timeline, the Corps would issue a contract for the project in 2020, with construction to be completed in 2022.
Public meetings on the project have been scheduled with the Kenai City Council at 6 p.m. July 5 at Kenai City Hall, and one for the general public at 6 p.m. July 6 at the Kenai Visitors Center.
Public comment on the plan is being accepted through July 16. Comments regarding the environmental impacts of the project should be submitted to Christopher.B.Floyd@usace.army.mil; comments regarding the feasibility report should be submitted to Ronnie.G.Barcak@usace.army.mil. Comments may also be submitted to this address:
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Alaska
P.O. BOX 6898
Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska 99506-0898
The Corps’ feasibility study represents a huge step forward in the effort to halt Kenai bluff from falling back.
We encourage central Kenai Peninsula residents and visitors alike to attend a public meeting, learn about the proposed solution and provide feedback for the Corps. And we look forward to seeing construction begin — so that dirt will finally stop moving.