Breakwater repair work gets underway

Most of the cost to fix storm damage will be covered by design firm

A missing section of the Port Washington breakwater railing, which was damaged by waves, can be seen in this photo taken last month. The railing has since been repaired, and crews are working this week to make other repairs. Photo by Sam Arendt
Ozaukee Press staff

Crews were at work this week completing repairs to Port Washington’s north breakwater.

A crew from TP Concrete on Tuesday filled underneath the breakwater walkway, which was washed out during an April storm, Public Works Director Rob Vanden Noven said.

On Wednesday, crews were expected to place riprap along the walkway, he added.

“Hopefully, we’ll be ready for the next big storm,” Vanden Noven told the Common Council on May 15.

The breakwater was pummeled by waves during the April northeaster, and when the storm was over “it kind of looked like a bomb went off,” Vanden Noven said at the time. The stones next to the breakwater were thrown aside and the concrete walkway was undermined. 

Tossed onto shore were a metal bench with its leg broken and a trash can that had been bolted to the walkway. A portion of the railing that was dislodged by waves earlier this year had been tied onto the rest of the railing, but the waves tore it off as well.

The wetland area “got kind of mucked up,” Vanden Noven said, and officials will see what plants survive.

“The water level’s so high, it could be difficult for them to come back,” he said.

City Administrator Mark Grams said that Foth Infrastructure and Environment, who designed the breakwater improvements, will pay for the repairs to the railing.

“The railing was their design,” he said.

City crews salvaged the trash can and are looking to see if they can repair the leg to the bench, Vanden Noven said, adding that if they can’t, the city will have to replace it.

“It wasn’t part of the (breakwater) project,” he said. “It was the city’s bench.”

Likewise, Vanden Noven said, a lighthouse donation box damaged in the storm is being repaired by the city.

But, Grams said, the city will likely have to pick up the tab to repair the undermined walkway.

“It was a 100-year storm,” he said.

“You can only design for so much,” Ald. Mike Ehrlich added.


Click Here to Send a Letter to the Editor

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


User login