No more beachgoing in Port Washington.
Well, at least for the rest of the summer and bluff failure is to blame.
City officials found a landslide in the Lake on Wednesday, June 8, after the heavy rain.
City engineer and Director of Public Works Rob Vanden Noven said it was a culmination of things that “triggered the collapse.”
“I would assume it was triggered by the amount of rain that we had over a course of a couple of days,” Vanden Noven said. “But it’s a culmination of things: the elevated lake levels, the wave action hitting the toe of the bluff and rain saturating the soils triggered the collapse.”
Thanks to the information system; a system the City and the University of Wisconsin joined forces to put in place, the City was notified of the erosion.
“We were notified by a resident who observed the bluff failure on our info system,” Vanden Noven said. “Which is a system that essentially tracks rip currents and beach safety that we’ve set up in collaboration with the University of Wisconsin. He notified us during the rain event on Wednesday that we’d had major bluff failure.”
Port Washington is still searching solutions.
“We’ll be able to determine how to solve these problems by performing engineering studies, soil borings, etc.,” Vanden Noven said. “There’s a lot of engineering work that will go on ahead of time. Typically what you’re looking at will be soil removal from the top and armoring the toe of the slope below.”
Vanden Noven said he’s not sure when the beach will be back open.
“I don’t know,” Vanden Noven said. “I wish I did.”