City hopes to unload lakefront sand pile

Officials who had planned to use material dredged from marina for park are now offering it to contractors who need fill at the urging of the DNR

WHILE THE MOUNTAIN of material dredged from the Port Washington marina and piled along the entrance to the breakwater doesn’t add to the city’s lakefront aesthetic, city officials hope it is attractive to contractors who will truck the sand away and use it as fill. The Department of Natural Resources has signed off on its use as fill but discouraged the city from using it to create a waterfront park as officials had planned. Press file photo
Ozaukee Press staff

Port Washington officials who had planned to use the mountain of sand piled on the city’s waterfront to create a park will instead rely on contractors to remove the material dredged from the marina.

City Engineer Roger Strohm said this week that the city has talked to several contractors who are interested in removing much of the sand from the area to use as fill.

The work is expected to be done “hopefully in the next week or two,” he added.

The Department of Natural Resources has signed off on removal of the pile, Strohm said.

The sand was tested twice to ensure there were no contaminants, officials said.

The sand was removed from the bottom of the lake when the area around the pier was dredged last year.

Since then, people have been speculating about what would happen to it.

Harbormaster Dennis Cherny had hoped to use much of the estimated 3,000 cubic yards of sand to create a level, park-like area just south of the breakwater that could be used by marina tenants and visitors.

That would be especially useful, officials said, because the impending water plant project will take up much of the green space south of the building.

It would be considered a natural area but have benches and a picnic table where people could enjoy a lunch or just take in the scenery.

But, Strohm said, “The DNR would like to see us get rid of that sand.”

And the quickest way to do that, he said, is to allow contractors to use the sand as fill.

Strohm noted that the city tried to create a wetland area near the pier in the past but strong waves pounded the area, killing the plants and destroying the wetland.

The city doesn’t want to repeat that, he said.

Srohm noted that once the bulk of the sand is removed, the area will still be two to three feet above the current lake level.

That will allow people to move off the sidewalk without the drop that currently exists, he said.

Moving the sand pile will make the space look better than it does today, he added, and then the city will be able to create a long-term plan for the area.

“We want to get it to a more manageable size and then figure out what to do down there,” Strohm said.

The area around pier five was dredged in fall to accommodate boats as the marina adds 14 slips to the pier.

The new slips, which should be installed by June, will accommodate 30-foot boats, which officials said is the size most in demand at the marina.


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Ozaukee Press

Wisconsin’s largest paid circulation community weekly newspaper. Serving Port Washington, Saukville, Grafton, Fredonia, Belgium, as well as Ozaukee County government. Locally owned and printed in Port Washington, Wisconsin.

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Port Washington, WI 53074
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