Ways to Keep Park From Washing Away
EA Engineering is holding a public meeting next Tuesday, Dec. 11, to present some recommendations for controlling erosion at Latham Park and Shore Drive in Barrington.
Controlling erosion at Latham Park and along Shore Drive in Bay Spring has been a decades-long problem.
Next Tuesday evening, Dec. 11, the engineers hired by Barrington to come up with some measures for finally stopping erosion at the shoreline will present their recommendations at another public meeting set up in advance of going before the Town Council.
The presentation will take place in the nearby Bay Spring Community Center. It will run from 5:30 to 7 pm.
EA Engineering, Science, and Technology Inc. engineers have been identifying and evaluating measures to protect the Latham Park area. The concepts the firm is recommending in an erosion study include “a living shoreline, rock revetment repair, and new rock revetment, as standalone alternatives or combined with beach nourishment.”
The engineers are recommending these options, according to the study, “due to the proximity of the upland park to the high water line, the recent recession of the beach, and the exposed wave environment.”
This condition requires “a proven and properly engineered and designed shoreline stabilization concept” to minimize erosion, the study says.
The alternatives to be suggested “approach shoreline stabilization in one of two ways or a combination of both: (1) harden the shoreline, and (2) restore the shoreline. Hardening the shoreline using a revetment will stabilize the shoreline with limited maintenance required; however, these options do not restore the beach and associated habitat. Beach nourishment restores habitat but has potential impacts to existing seagrass beds.
“Shoreline restoration with beach nourishment stabilizes the shoreline in the short-term, but continued erosion will cause the shoreline to recede to match the current condition or beyond. Beach nourishment coupled with offshore revetment construction will extend the stabilization duration by altering the currents along the shoreline and reducing the erosion potential. Beach nourishment coupled with revetment construction will erode at a rate slower than the existing beach erosion, but will require frequent re-nourishment to maintain the material behind the revetment until vegetation is established.”
Those options also will take into account the continuing rise in sea level -- a 3- to 5-foot rise by 2100. The rise in sea level, which has been happening since 1939, will mean higher high tides and the potential for more damage from storm surge.
Any erosion-control options also must consider that the park sits on top of soil dredged from Narragansett Bay and dumped there in 1958.
EA Engineering was hired by the Town Council to come up with feasible solutions to erosion before it authorizes any improvements to the park, including the construction of a new playground that served as a catalyst for launching the erosion study. See Patch story.
EA Engineering held a separate public workshop at the park early last summer to come up with community concerns. Approximately 20-25 people attended.