Shoring up properties along the bay

Published: Sep. 9, 2020 at 3:09 PM CDT
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DYCKESVILLE, Wis. (WBAY) - As we first reported at the beginning of this year, hundreds of homeowners along the Bay of Green Bay filed for emergency permits to shore up their properties, desperate to protect them against record-high water levels and erosion.

The final straw for Jerry Murphy’s aging stone and mortar seawall, protecting his Dyckesville home, came last fall.

“That November, Thanksgiving weekend storm, the wall was basically just holding in there, but the over top waves were coming from not only over my wall, but over my neighbor’s wall and drifting into my yard, so I had water coming from everywhere,” recalls Murphy.

So Murphy invested in an interlocking concrete block system, one that also allows water to flow back out through it into the bay.

“We actually go underneath what the beach level is at the time, go down about two feet, then it’s a matter of taking blocks, and they weigh over a ton each, depending on the side up to almost two ton, and we just start stacking them, once we get the first row in, it’s just a matter of putting them in, making sure they’re level,” says Pat Schuette with Absolute Concrete, which installed the new seawall.

“I was looking for really a way to handle a hydrology problem and this was a really good solution,” adds Murphy.

It was last January we caught up with Dave Berken installing 300 tons of limestone rip rap on a property along Nicolet Drive.

So far, it’s done the job protecting against strong waves and erosion.

“I don’t know if it’s had a real big test this summer, I think going into fall we’re about to really see exactly how well this is going to hold up, but during a few events during the summer months where there was some pretty good surf it did hold up really well,” says Berken.

As the calendar pushed towards 2021, contractors phones are still ringing.

“I don’t know if it’s ever going to end, unless the water goes down,” says Schuette.

For Murphy though, restless nights are a thing of the past.

“And only people on the bay or on the lake will know how that feels. Yeah, we do sleep a lot more comfortably,” says Murphy with a smile.

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