City sees beauty in marina spoils

Mountain of sand dredged to expand pier will be used to create park in unkept area near entrance to Port Washington’s breakwater

A MOUNTAIN OF SAND dredged from the Port Washington marina to accommodate the expansion of pier five now sits on the far north end of the marina along the breakwater. The city plans to use much of the material to create a park-like area on a small piece of land seen in the background of this photo just to the east of the Newport Shores building (left). Photo by Sam Arendt
Ozaukee Press staff

The once scraggly looking area adjacent to the entrance of the north breakwater is about to get a facelift, courtesy of the expansion of pier five.

The area around the pier was recently dredged to make room for additional slips, and an estimated 3,000 cubic yards of sand was left on the shore next to the breakwater.

It’s a large hill of sand that has had people speculating about its future.

It’s simple, Harbormaster Dennis Cherny said. Some of the sand will likely be removed from the site, but the rest will be leveled to create a park-like area just south of the breakwater.

“It had some wild plants in there,” he said, and birds liked to hang out there.

“It was kind of messy looking,” Cherny said, so the addition of the sand will allow the city to add landscaping to create a more beautiful area for people to sit and enjoy the lakefront.

“We thought we’d make a park out of it,” he said, noting it will not be for marina tenants but for the general public.

He envisions placing some benches and a picnic table in the area so people can enjoy the lake vistas.

City Engineer Roger Strohm said the pile of sand is a bit higher than expected, but noted that it will settle a little. And, when the city extends a storm drain off the nearby parking lot, the sand can be used to cover it and create a park.

“We’d like to make it a nature area,” he said.

Strohm noted that the impending water plant project will take up much of the green space south of the building. The marina park will help make up for some of that loss.

The new park is an unexpected benefit of the marina expansion project, which will entail adding 14 slips to pier five.

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

“The whole idea was to put in those 14 slips,” he said. “We think this is a win-win for the city.”

When the area around the pier was dredged — a project that was completed Friday — the city expected about 3,500 cubic yards of spoils to be removed.

Cherny said the work probably yielded a little less than that. And while the city thought there would be a lot of clay removed from the bottom of the lake, it turned out that it was only sand there, he said.

Tests showed no contamination of the sand, he added.

“We tested it twice,” Cherny said. “It turned out to be a real high quality sand.”

Strohm noted that the city may haul some of the sand to either north or south beach or could use it for construction projects.

But first, the city plans to grade the area and level it off a bit.

Depending on how soon the ground freezes, Strohm said, that could happen soon or in spring.

Cherny noted that some people have expressed concern about the pile, saying that once he explains the plans most are pleased with the idea.

“Anyone who’s shocked by it should wait until it’s completed,” he said. “Then they’ll get the full impact.”


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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.

125 E. Main St.
Port Washington, WI 53074
(262) 284-3494


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