KENAI, Alaska — The city of Kenai is buying properties on which to build a rock berm to halt severe bluff erosion in the city’s Old Town section.
The city has acquired six of 24 parcels necessary for the mile-long site that’s eroding about three feet each year, the Peninsula Clarion reported Thursday night.
Kenai’s federal partner, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, is seeking formal authorization to apply for funding for the project, estimated to cost $32 million. Kenai’s share of the costs would be $11.2 million.
The city and Corps have been collaborating on countering the erosion since 1999.
Work crews could start moving rock to the base of the Kenai bluff after the project is formally declared feasible and a design is created. Following authorization, Congress would have to appropriate funding for the project to cover the Army Corps’ share of the cost.
“There will be a lot of interaction between the city and our congressional delegation and others to try to secure funding for this project,” city manager Paul Ostrander said.
A final feasibility study by the Corps for the project is slated for completion in April 2018. Construction would begin following a design phase in 2018 and 2019.
The city also has applied for construction help from the military as a training exercise, according to Ostrander. He said the Department of Defense has officially accepted the application into the agency’s Innovative Readiness Training Program.
“What it does is advertise our project to all branches of the military, and they look to see if our project would meet their training needs,” Ostrander said. “If one of the branches of the military feels like it would meet their training needs, they’d reach out to the city and say they want to work on this project.”
Help from the military could lower the cost of the project.
Information from: (Kenai, Alaska) Peninsula Clarion, http://www.peninsulaclarion.com