Public park near Lake Erie damaged after erosion control structures were submerged underwater
Lately, Lake Erie has had issues with erosion control. In Willoughby, Ohio, a public park was damaged from large pieces from the bluffs coming off and into Lake Erie. According to News 5 Cleveland, a safety fence was built to keep residents safe near the disc golf course at the park. Erosion control structures that were previously installed in 1996 are now underwater.
“This is a battle that none of us on the north coast is winning,” Willoughby Mayor Bob Fiala said to News 5 Cleveland. “The erosion is accelerating. There’s a lot of it. It’s due to some high water issues we’ve been having. We’re 30 in. above the historic high of 1986.”
The park includes a disc golf course, large playground, one mile walking trail, pavilion and exercise equipment, according to News 5 Cleveland. Resident Tom Canitia has lived near the park for years and brings his children to the park frequently.
“We used to be able to see the concrete barrier. Just a little bit in front of them you could see some of the sand. Now the water is well over,” Canitia told News 5. “The [erosion] is bad for this area… I know they put a lot of money into these parks to keep the erosion as far off as it can. It’s getting bad. I can’t imagine owning a home on it.”
Fiala and the city council contacted contractors for a quote on a temporary erosion control solution, according to News 5. However, the quote exceeded $400,000 and covered on part of the project.
“We had a question to answer. That question was, ‘do we take almost half of our general fund budget that we normally allocate to police and fire vehicles, service vehicles, and allocate that to a temporary solution at Osborne Park?’” Fiala told News 5. “At that time we decided to take a step back and just assess it more carefully.”