The City of Campbell River has employed contractors to repair the rip rap at Robert Ostler Park.
“Extensive wave action from storms has undermined the existing rip rap and it has slumped down,” said Ross Milnthorp, the city’s general manager of parks, recreation and culture.
Because the time of year is outside the annual fisheries window, no equipment or debris can be put in the water so all the work is being done from above.
During the restoration, the walkway will be closed in the area.
“Underneath the rip rap is another structure, we are going to reconstruct that with smaller rock and geo-textile fabric to keep the very fine material from being affected by the waves and then we are going to replace the existing rip rap and we will probably add another 1,500 tons or so,” Milnthorp said.
The work is scheduled to start this Monday at 7 a.m. but crews will be working around the weather as well as the tide.
Milnthorp said that though they can work at all tide levels, in order to get to the bottom of the structure they have to take advantage of the lowest tides predicted at this time of year.
The city is predicting that the work will be done by Friday evening, if everything goes according to plan.
Milthorp said the project will cost under $100,000.
“This is not the final solution to the problems we are having on the foreshore of Ostler park, this is a temporary solution but we expect that it could last, if needed, probably 20 plus years,” he said.
In March of 2015 city council endorsed a plan to create a man-made beach at Ostler Park.
It was going to replace the rip rap.
At the time, engineers discouraged the city from replacing the rip rap, stating in a report that adding more rip rap would not prevent the erosion of the underlying material, which would undermine the protective layer and cause slumping and failure.
Engineers found that an engineered beach mimics natural run-up conditions which dissipates wave energy and intensity, preventing erosion.
However, in December, the city put the project on hold due to climate change and sea level rise concerns.
At that time, Milnthorp suggested that the city delay the upgrades to the park until it can get a handle on the downtown flooding problems.
Money budgeted for the design portion of the soft shore beach project is being used to pay for the rip rap repairs.
With files from Kristen Douglas/Campbell River Mirror