The top two shoreland erosion projects in Belfast, according to City Planner Wayne Marshall, are City Park and the east side of the Armistice Bridge. Both areas received "pretty significant damage" last year from winter storms, and Marshall asked the council May 7 for authorization to proceed in filing state permits before going to bid.

Will Gartley, an engineer with Gartley and Dorsky Engineering & Surveying Inc., Camden, used enlarged photos of the areas as he presented mitigation plans for the two projects.

The area along a concrete outlet pipe, in front of parking area at City Park, Gartley identified as having significant erosion over the winter. Images showed an eroded space with mounds of stone and soil in front of it.

Gartley proposed using large, angular stones that will lock together, immovable, at the toe of the slope, to armor the area subject to wave action. He said he would like to work with the city to identify the best species of trees to stabilize the slopes on the northern side of the park.

The engineer also highly recommended replacing large stone steps, which, he said, "might be a liability." Another option would be to move a set of precast concrete steps there now, Gartley said. 

On the Armistice Bridge, there is significant erosion to the east side of the entrance of the bridge. He said it looked similar to City Park, with the south side being the most severely eroded and the north side not quite as bad.

Gartley proposed installing armoring on the shoreline to maintain vegetation and to avoid a "vertical drop" of the landscape. Cut granite blocks were placed on the top edge to identify drop-off areas. One image showed a granite block, undermined by erosion, that had tumbled down over the edge.

Extending the toe out and gradually filling back to the vegetation with stone, Gartley said, would prevent the edge from becoming too steep. "Because we are impacting below the highest tide line," he said, "the Army Corps of Engineers will need to review and issue a permit."

This project is not as "needy" as City Park, Gartley said, and anticipated fall would be a good time to do this work.

Marshall said the east side of the bridge would be closed for construction for about three weeks.

City Council approved moving forward with both projects filing for permits and soliciting bids.