City crews are working to re-establish portions of Ashbridges Bay beach following a series of damaging spring rainstorms that ravaged the coastline this month.
“We had three successive storms that caused a substantial amount of damage to not only the boardwalk, in and around the Leuty Lifeguard Station, as well as ponding out at Ashbridges Bay,” James Dann, the city’s waterfront parks manager, said.
Dann said storm damage to the beach area is cyclical but this year has been out of the ordinary.
“Further east from here we will be doing some permanent repairs, applying some armour stone around the beachfront to re-establish where the beach was prior to the storms,” he said.
“It’s a section where the waves came right in and undercut the boardwalk itself and so we’re doing some immediate emergency repairs.”
One third of the beach volleyball courts are currently under water and may threaten the start of the season.
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Dann said crews are grooming the sections affected by the excess water to make sure the area is safe for the public to use.
“This is stuff we do annually. It’s just a lot more pronounced this year because of the water on the courts,” Dann said.
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“We can’t commit as to whether when the water will evaporate, soak into the ground, go back into the lake. We don’t have definitive answer to that.”
Dann said the historic Leuty Lifeguard Station, which was built in the 1920s, was dangerously close to the waves.
“We had to put down armour stone to the east of the lifeguard station,” Dann explained. “So that’s preserving the asset and we’re making sure it doesn’t get washed away.”
City officials are advising visitors to stay away from the restricted areas of the beach until the repair work is complete.
The public can also log onto the city’s Parks, Forestry and Recreation website for updates.
-With a report from Cindy Pom