9/19/2006

Vulnerability on the Neck Road

After taking a walk on the beach across from the Beachead resturant yesterday, I suspect we are going to be in trouble by the end of this winter. If we get two or three real good 'Noth-easter's" that is. It you take the same stroll, you will notice that most of the fill, old cement, rocks etc. that had been put in there years ago and covered with a varied mix of junk, has been being slowly exposed by the wave action and is rolling out on to what little beach is left there. In a few places, the water has already undercut the edge of the road, and after the next storm, it should begin to fall onto the beach below. I expect that after the next few storms we are going to have a much nastier surprise waiting for us the morning after than the one up by at Scotch beach.
As one of the very first actions that I think the new Council should undertake is to start the proceedings to get the State to honor their "commitment" to keep the roads here in good repair. It is going to be a huge job along the lines of what was done on Spring Street below the Spring House in order to slow down the erosion. You can never stop it, because mother nature is a lot stronger and much more persistent than we mere humans.
I hope that this council can work a lot faster than the ones of the last 17 years, as that is how long, at least, that they have all collectively talked the repair of the Old Harbor dock to death with absolutely no action! Yep! Another study for $20-30 K! Just what we need! Come om ALL you wanna be councils folks, lets hear some dialogue on this one.

22 comments:

Ex-Manissean said...

Forget the road, start construction on the corn neck bridge, cause thats what it sounds like you're gonna need soon. Unless they'd rather build a seawall.

Sam said...

Good point, Ex-Man. But think how government works, they must do a bridge study, get on the DOT project list, check for bugs & indian artifacts, pull a bond, and heck, maybe even pour some concrete one day!

Everett has mentioned this before to me and I suggested some temporary sand dune and bulkhead systems to protect the road and ensure against cross-neck water flows from the large winter storms.

No action = no road, eventually.

It seemed like the Town looked into this before but the DEP and CRMC intervened or somthing. Perhaps it was the use of Christmas trees. Anyway, something needs to be done quick-like, without a lot of Mickey Mouse.

dodge-ems said...

Good points all. We can insure our safety and that of our visitors by widening the road from the kite shop to mosquito beach to 2 lanes each way and by erecting a 5 story parking garage where the pavilion is located. The cars parked on the side of the road back out seemingly without first looking or they let their lil kids stand in the road while they- load/unload their beach supplies. I have to travel by there at least twice a day and crawl as there have been so many near misses. I am being facetious but rather than tar and feathering a man for a prank(I do not know said prankster personally) why does the tourism council not make an effort to push for safety issues instead of sending spam to encourage more and more and more...............We need tourism;however,let's not maim or kill them in the process. It is politically incorrect!

Ex-Manissean said...

Another option would be to 'raise' the road bed to about level with the top of a seawall, and if you want to get fancy construct a board walk atop the wall. Be cheaper than a bridge.

Anonymous said...

You mention the old harbor docks...a study has already been done. It is available at the town hall. It was done by Bourne Engineering and it says what we all know....the dicks need to be replaced. Another study will just waste time and money.

Sam said...

I'm trying to maintain my composure here, but that comment about having to replace their ... LOL! I know, the "o" and the "i" are a little too close together on the ole keyboard. We know what was meant and thanks.

But I just can't stop laughing because yeah, they all should be replaced.

I keep thinking what would the old-timers do, knowing a big season of Nor-eastas could be brewing up, one already. A dune is the first line of defense and then a seawall of some kind would be great. You can't stop the water but you can protect the roadway base from washing out.

Good luck on both accounts, Islanders!

thinking on it said...

How about a responsible council as the" first line of defense", Sam! Your pointing out the "i"/"o" proximity still has me chuckling!

Anonymous said...

Yeah. Lets all pray Kim wins this one!

afraid to agree Sam because said...

.....Because most of my well thought out selections for office are "doomed" by the curse of my vote. I will once again attempt to cast my votes and hope I do not sink anyone in the process. Where is everyone on this(these) issue(s)? Do all the voters live off island or are they counting their summer receipts and moaning? Dialogue anyone???? Hope not to hear "and so it goes"

Sam said...

Ah don't be afraid, vote with your heart, your mind, and your fingers on voting day and be done with it.

I'm just an off-Islander but Everett likes me because I'm wild, conservative most of the time, and not quite bad enough to be run off the Island (like my brother Matt!).

My suspicion is there's maybe what, 500 people who vote? We know where maybe 50 of those folks are because they're "joiners" in certain action groups, call them what you want.

So maybe it's 10 percent of the voters chasing the other 90 percent so you folks vote like you want. Don't make it a beauty contest. Don't make it like liberals versus conservatives.

Nope, go with the people who can bring some good ideas to the table, like fixing Cork Neck from erosion, grappling with summer tourist drunks, keeping bond debt from sky rocketing, increasing affordable housing without pulling teeth, seeding more shellfish, having more water safety, and all that good stuff.

Whatever catches your fancy. Just remember, the candidates are just like you and me. Sometimes they don't know what a good issue IS until they heard it.

Let 'em know, friends, let them know.

Anonymous said...

Looks like we won't here Mr.Torrey answer questions on Candidates' night. Anybody else think we need an second choice for second warden? Any volunteers for a write in candidate?

Anonymous said...

How about Chris Hobe???

obnoxious said...

I recently visited Adrians Isle nd am seriously looking to Les Slate as first warden. We don't really have much of a good choice. Second warden is a joke and we seriously need a write in candidate in both of these positions. The BI5-1 is a joke. I hope the voters don't take any of them seriously. They are all retired and if any aren't they should be. In one of our previous elections Martha Ball said she didn't want to see the town run like a business but the fact is, it is a multi-million dollar business and we need people that can run it efficiently. Think carefully before you cast your vote.
And vote for the people who can do the most for the town.

Sam said...

Maybe Martha wasn't to run staff and the public meetings like Big Business, as BI is a very small town and some informality is sometimes a good thing. For example, folks routinely get to talk at public meetings but according to Robert's Rules, if it is not on the Agenda as a formal public hearing to accept public comments you would not be permitted to speak at all. Think about that one ... sometimes flexible is good.

That said, you have a billion dollar economy out there. Add up all the property tax rolls, sales taxes, motel taxes, and all that good stuff converted into total taxable value and see how much you're worth. I think it would be an "eye popper."

I mean golly, if they keep bringing so much money to the Island it is sure to sink just from all that weight!

Bugs said...

I guess this has become a political discussion now instead of a serious one about town roads / infrastructure.
But getting back to the original point of the thread , heres a nice solution.
There is way too much new sand on the beach next to Ballards and IN Old harbor proper. Old harbor needs to be dredged soon or we may not have a navicable harbor left.
My solution?? .. demand the army corps of engineers to perform maintenance dredging in old harbor. While they dredge we excavate all the sand near and around Ballards and dump it into the channel ( under the cover of darkness off course),where they suck it up and pump the dredge spoils via hyro-pipe to the areas that need shoring up next to corn neck road.
Is this hard? Vote for ME

Everett said...

Hey Bugs, Any idea why after a hundred years or so the harbor is filing up with sand? It is strictly because of the outflow pipe from the sewer plant. All the years I've lived here, there was never more than 20 t0 30 feet of beach extending out from the back of Ballards. Since the outflow was put in, you may have noticed how the beach has grown all the way from the pipe to ballards and beyond. The sand has infiltrated right oveer the top of the breakwater and into the harbor. There was NEVER any sand on the dock for the last 68 years that I know of till the pipe was installed. Do some research and you will see that disturbing the natural flow of the currents causes the trans-migration of the solids,(sand)in predictable ways. Look at the breakwater in the New harbor. When it was built there was NO beach there at all! Now it extends all the way to the end. Screwing with Mother Natures always seems to come back and bite us on the ass. Thanks for the post though, got a kick from it! Which box shall I check?

Anonymous said...

Why the hell didn't the Army Core dredge the inner harbor when they were here with the dredger in the spring? You can't even use the bait dock and the last 4 slips on the west dock.

Everett said...

That's called piss poor planning by whomever is in charge of these things!Just one more example of not paying attention too the maintenamce of the infrastructure of the Islands assets. Have you perhaps noticed that there is NO maintenance person currently employed by the town to maintain ALL the Towns buildings? They are all starting to deteriorate due to lack of attention. Thay will soon be in the same condition as the old section of the school.

Sam said...

Come on Everett, you're being serious here? I don't think I ever heard anything like that ... perhaps this calls for a person to take stock of all town assets and list them as to their condition, maintenance, and repair.

... And fire the first five town workers that say a "consultant could be hired to do that."
Sam

Anonymous said...

Has anyone taken a hard look at the beach house lately? It's in really bad shape.

bugs said...

Yes Everett , local wisdom has always supported the theory that the outflow pipe was the cause for all that sand that now lies in front of Ballards and in old harbor.( Remember when Bobby Rose poured the concrete apron for the deck back 10-15 years ago? It was at the very edge of the high tide, now there is 100+ ft of beach to the water's edge) But your example of the new harbor breakwater proves that you don't need an outflow pipe to stop alot of sand and create a new beach.
But all conjecturing about what caused the sand build-up aside ... we still need to solve the problem of how to get rid of it.

Maybe some entreprenuing person will bottle it and sell it as " the last affordable Block Island real estate". If beachfront land is worth 1 million an acre maybe a bottle would sell for 10$ ?

Or maybe we could get the harbor dredged bi-anually as it should be and use the spoils to shore up our barrier beach on the neck!

Everett said...

All the land that the bagel shop, bank, BIG, gas station, and the figure-head building sits on was pumped there from the Old harbor sometime back in the fifties. It all came there via a big assed pipe that was suspended between sets of big steel balls. At one time, I believe it was Bob Huggins, set up a batting range with an automatic pitching machine on the spot where the bagel shop now sits. You would try to hit those rubberized baseballs into the harbor pond. But that is one hell of a belt to accomplish. He had big tall nets about 20 feet high along the roads to semi-contain the foul balls. I think it only lasted one or two summers.