Whidbey Examiner


Town addresses eroding sidewalk on Front Street

January 30, 2013 · 3:13 PM

Coupeville Public Works road crews work to sandbag a section of Front Street in the hopes of slowing bluff erosion that's threatening a sidewalk. / Justin Burnett Photo

Coupeville town officials jumped into action today to evaluate and hopefully slow a section of eroding bluff along Front Street.

The bank, located between North Kinney and North Gould Streets, began sloughing off onto the beach earlier this month and the sidewalk in the area began to sag toward the beach.

The process sped up rapidly this week, however.

"It went down even further with the heavy rain last night," said Mary Young, a Front Street resident of 14 years.

So much of the bank has now fallen off onto the beach that the section of gravel sidewalk is noticeably lower than the surrounding area. Also, large and deep cracks are visible along the path.

Town officials have been aware of the situation for more than a week. Cones and a barricade were erected but additional steps were taken today to combat the developing emergency.

Road crews placed sandbags along the outside edge of the path in an attempt to limit further saturation from stormwater off the road.

Also, a geotechincal engineering firm has been contracted to come out and evaluate the problem in the next day or two, Conard said.

The consultant will hopefully shed light on how bad the problem is and why it's happening; it could be a combination of rainfall and high tides, Conard said.

Whatever the case, one lane of traffic may have to be closed or the whole section of street to all but homeowners until the area can be stabilized.

There is no emergency pot of money to deal with such situations so Conard said she will have to find money from within the existing budget to pay for any work.

But, she said she won't know where it will come from until more is learned.

"We need to know what the magnitude of the repair is first," she said.

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