Lake front seawall project gearing up

The construction of a new seawall along Lake Front Boulevard in the city of Dunkirk is getting closer. Some equipment, a fence and a large rubber tube which will keep Lake Erie waters away from the work area have been set up at the site.

Michael F. Smith, P.E., CEO – Engineering for Nussbaumer & Clarke Inc., the engineering firm hired by the city for the seawall construction, was asked about the project.

“A coffer dam is to be installed to protect the work area from water, and the water behind it pumped out. This will provide the contractor with a relatively dry work space,” Smith explained. “The existing wall will be demolished and removed, the concrete footing poured and the precast concrete modules placed on the footing. The modules are then filled with stone material and the drainage improvements installed. The excavation will then be backfilled so the new pathway can be constructed.”

Smith said the rubber tubes act as a cofferdam.

“The tubes are filled with water and ballast materials to act similar to a dam and keep the lake water out of the work area,” he added. “The wall will be built in sections approximately equal to the coffer dam, which is 400 feet long.”

Smith said the project is expected to be completed by the end of the year, “weather permitting.”

Mayor Anthony J. Dolce said he was, “thrilled to see the project get started.”

The amenities will be completed in spring or summer 2015, Dolce said.

“What does end up being the final isn’t set in stone,” he added. “What we’ve given were possibilities, then we’ll fit those possibilities within our budget.”

On June 17 the Common Council approved a resolution to bond for $4.2 million for the project, along with hiring S. St. George Enterprises Inc. of Fredonia to do the work.

At that meeting Dolce talked about the project.

“From my perspective I do not classify the seawall project as us just fixing a wall, but transforming our lakefront area, including Wright Park, with the proposed amenities we hope to have in 2015,” he stated.

The completion of Phase 3 of the bike path will be part of the seawall project.

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