8/05/2008

Beach/Road Redux --- Again!

Well I'm sure this post will drag that guy who knows all about the beaches here on BI out of the woodwork to vilify and castigate me on my poor memory! Oh well, here goes.

Have you all perchance been down the Neck Road anytime in the last month or so? Have you happened to notice that the road to the north of the Trustum Dodge monument is now located practically ON the beach? I'm not talking about the beach right in front of the monument, but too the left when viewed from the road. If you stop and get out of your car to look, you will see the the minuscule bit of beach that used to be there is now gone! Imagine that! I wonder where it went? At anytime except dead low tide, the water is right up there next to the road! Got any predictions as to what is going to happen when the next good Nor'easter hit us?

And while you are there go slowly down the Neck Road and count all the NEW little paths that have been opened up this summer by the visiting populace! They climb over the dunes in new places while no more than ten steps away is one of the older more established paths!

I would like to know why NO TOWN COUNCIL in the last twenty years has taken it on themselves to DO something about the problem of people on the dunes!! The problem is NOT GOING TO STOP until drastic measures are taken to stop it and a FEW designated spots are maintained for access to the beach. If you can't see that there is a problem now, then your head is located in a place where the sun never shines and it smells really bad!

So Mr and Mrs Council Person, if you can't figure out what to do all on your own, send a letter or an email, or better yet, an emissary to one of the other beach front communities in RI or even on over to Nantucket or Martha's Vine Yard to see how they deal with the problem!

With all the fiscal woes of this State, when the inevitable comes to pass and the road is washed out just like Spring Street was in 1991 I believe it was, They will probably tell us to go "pound sand" as it were, because there is no money to fix that road. Has anybody down there in the town hall ever heard the term, "proactive" as opposed to "reactive"? I know I am pissing up a stump and NOTHING WILL BE DONE, but I feel better now! TIFN

47 comments:

Sam said...

Well unless you do something this fall, you might end up with two Block islands - and no bridge between them. Now is when the beach sand should be getting to its maximum coverage, maybe the next month or so. Then all the sand gets sucked off the rocks and you'll really see how bad it is. By late October or early November you should be seeing the start of a few fresh Northeasters, a horrible direction for that beach & road.

I'm not a highway engineer, but you can't just pour a little concrete and say that the job it done, since the erosion can suck the material from underneath the road by undercutting it. Some designs might call for a very deep bulkhead wall 3 feet high to road grade and 15 feet deep with granite or basalt rock rip-rap in front of it, with perhaps a half million cubic yards of sacrificial beach sand from a dredging operation. That would fix you up for many years but could cost well over 8 million bucks.

I'd also like to know what they powers that be intend to do. Ignoring the problem is the worst thing one can do. -sam

Anonymous said...

Sam where is the island going to be cut in two?

Sam said...

The Great 1938 Hurricane of New England did that once, making two islands out of Block island, and I suspect with continued erosion and a good storm, another Big One could do it again. Sorry, I don't have a map of where the breech to the Atlantic exactly occurred. It could have been to Harbor Pond, Trimm's Pond, or the GSP itself, not sure. Anybody have some local knowledge?

My point was that the roadway would be soon compromised.

On our sandbar off the Texas coast, Hurricane Beulah (1967) cut the island in 17 places, 5 within (what would become) town limits. You can still see these on the maps as "hurricane wash-over zones."

-sam

Everett said...

I'll tell you where it might get cut in two. Right at Scotch Beach and the access road over to Mosquito beach. You can see it almost happens in a good nor'easter. The parking space is usually full of debris and a big salt water puddle. So if we get a 8,10, 18 foot storm surge,and the wind is from the right direction, guess what?

Anonymous said...

[quote]Now is when the beach sand should be getting to its maximum coverage, maybe the next month or so. Then all the sand gets sucked off the rocks and you'll really see how bad it is. [/quote]

Sam .... This beach will change as it has in the past. The summer months won't magically feed more sand to it.

... here is an idea!!! Old harbor needs a LOT of dredging to remove sand on the east dock and bait dock , why not pump the dredge spoils (ie sand) to the beachead zone?

is that a crazy idea?

Sam said...

Excellent idea, and we get much of our "new" beach sand from a close-by shipping channel.

Usually it's a good idea to get some sand samples and have an engineer look at the sand size distribution (and sediments or any pollution) to see if it is good beach renourishment sand.

Then I believe it is a matter of a permit with the CRMC and the Corps of Engineers.

Raising money might be an issue, but you want the Fed, state, and locals to try to grant-match because it really takes several hundred thousand cubic yards to make a big difference - a truck only holds about 10 yards.

But a pipeline dredge would definitely save the cost of hauling the dredged sand out to the spoil are way off to the East. -sam

Everett said...

Back in the early fifties, the pipeline is exactly how the sand was moved out of Old Harbor. The pipeline was floated on huge steel balls avery 50 feet or so and then just laid on the ground for the rest of the trip. Where did it go? It was pumped into what was then a salt water marsh better known now as Harbor Pond. It is the ground that the BIG, The Bagel shop, The gas station and the rest of the buildings from the corner of The Neck road and The New Road are built on. They stopped where the fresh water stream from Mill Pond passes to the Pond. From there it went right up too the edge of what is now The Beach head Rest. They only stopped encroaching into the Harbor Pond when enough had been removed from the Old Harbor. It is ALL reclaimed land.

Sam said...

That's interesting, Ev, no idea that area was landfilled from dredge spoils from the harbor. That land is worth millions now! Needless to say, it would be nearly impossible to do that kind of thing today.

But for beach renourishment, not a bad idea. I have to ask - does anybody know if the Old Harbor is getting silted up and needs a good dredging? It has been a long time since I ran around there in a boat with a depth finder. -sam

Everett said...

Yeah Sam it is getting filled up pretty bad. All the time I was a kid around here, there used to be about 20-30 feet of beach behind Ballards. Since they put in the outflow pipe for the sewer system, the movement of the sand has been drastically altered. Now Ballards has a beach probably 100 feet deep or more, and it runs out about half way on both the outside and the inside of the long "green" breakwater. The sand has filled in the breakwater from the end of their building, over the wall across the end of the East dock and into the inner harbor to the point where three or four boat berthing spots have been lost! Is anything being done to rectify the problem? Not a damned thing! Nobody even talks about it least of all the Harbor Master.
Comments Anonymouse?

Everett said...

Yeah Sam it is getting filled up pretty bad. All the time I was a kid around here, there used to be about 20-30 feet of beach behind Ballards. Since they put in the outflow pipe for the sewer system, the movement of the sand has been drastically altered. Now Ballards has a beach probably 100 feet deep or more, and it runs out about half way on both the outside and the inside of the long "green" breakwater. The sand has filled in the breakwater from the end of their building, over the wall across the end of the East dock and into the inner harbor to the point where three or four boat berthing spots have been lost! Is anything being done to rectify the problem? Not a damned thing! Nobody even talks about it least of all the Harbor Master.
Comments Anonymouse?

Anonymous said...

On the bright side of things , Ballards "new beach' has turned out pretty well for them . They've put up a double layer fence along the breakwater and new signs proclaiming that its a private resort . Kinda neat huh? ... and they dont even have to pay taxes on any of that new property since according to top maps its still all below mean high water.


The town might want to advertise for dredge recipients and take bids on the spoils . Two acres of new beach frontage might sell for alot more than what it would take to dredge it and move it there,

.....btw the harbormaster is too busy giving swimming lessons to wharf rats to worry about the dissapiering old harbor.

Sam said...

I'm not an engineer but having all that sand over-top the jetty really defeats its purpose, which is to prevent sand from mobilizing into the harbor channel. Why else would the Corps construct a humongous granite breakwater? Certainly not for a bar.

No offense to Ballards, but there seems to be a design failure. Everett maybe you could check with your son with the boats and see if the silting is really all that bad, from the hump at the entry to the breakwaters to the ferry landing, Ballards, and all the public wharves. Gosh I hate it being so far away, I can't do anything from here.

In parting, in all probability it is too late to schedule dredging of the Old Harbor even if you need it, since the winter is the "dredge season," unless you qualify for emergency dredging like the hump at Great Salt Pond. It would be nice to blast a huge load along that road so winter erosion isn't all that bad. You might be looking at 2009 (FY 2010 budget).

-sam

Everett said...

It is "That Bad"! And the New Harbor entrance is just a bad. There used to be a 20 to 25 foot channel right in the center. Now it is between 8 and 12 feet and the big sailing boats with a deep keel are having to time their entrance to the high tide!! You'd think SOMEBODY would give a shit about these two small kinks!

Everett said...

Start on the other side of the state beach and walk toward town. You'll see plenty of them, especially from "baby beach" to the monument. All you have to do is look. Goa t Low tide and you'll also see just how much of last years beach is gone! The waters edge at low tide is within 10to 20 feet of the road and at high tide, is right at the base of the rocks toward the aforementioned baby beach. All you have to do is to look.

Sam said...

Wow, 8 to 12 feet isn't good for a Federal Channel and Harbor of Refuge, as well as for some very large ferries. I bet the ferry grounds out a little bit sometimes.

The US Congress requires the Army Corps of Engineers to maintain all federal channels and it doesn't seem like they are here.

And Everett, seemed like most of the beach except the rocky part closer to Town used to be 150 to 200 feet wide, at least. /sam

Sam said...

Wait until the road washes out and the ferry can only come at high tide. That should put a little tempest in your teapot!

Anonymous said...

Sam, when was the last time you set foot on BI ?

Sam said...

2003 or so - why do you ask? Being an occasional visitor since the late 1960's, I've seen the erosion of the bluffs, the west side, the north end, and all along the east side. Block Island seems to be literally shrinking every time I do set foot on the island. The only part that seems to be growing was "Ballard's Beach," which was nothing but a sandy strip and rocks way back then.

Down here on MY little island off Texas, I've become quite active in the dredging and beach renourishment issues, and have dealt with many of the authorities, local, state, and federal. So sorry if I sound like a know-it-all blow hard, I just happen to have real experience with fixing big problems. For example, we have a huge resort hotel where the beach eroded 8-10 feet per year, and now its swimming pool is in the Gulf of Mexico. We're trying to work it out so the owner doesn't have to tear it all down. -sam

Everett said...

Yeah Sammy!!! Give him hell! He/She is all "it" claims we uniformed idiots are!
That was 9-12 feet DEEP, and that was last summer when I was over there spearfishing the Bean side of the channel. When was the last time you put your little ass in the water and not relied on a depth finder? And who the hell are you anyway? I just have to meet you before I croak so I can actually see how tall you are,(about 10'?) and just how big your swelled up head is with all the undisputeable logic in there!

Sam said...

There's always one to stir the pot, Ev. And you know, there's a million reasons why people don't want to get into solving our two chief problems along the coast - massive erosion and siltation of the channels and harbors. First, it takes millions of dollars. Second, you got your environmental regs like for piping plover, sea turtles, and even seals (Marine Mammals Act). Hen you have your turf battles over "who is the chief bull moose loony" and disputes about the permit approvals. It's far easier to ignore it, it's such a pain in the rear.

What I'm saying is that it is NOT the global warming, which could raise the ocean levels a few inches in the next decades, but erosion and siltation RIGHT NOW.

The US Congress knows about this, and even appropriated some limited funds for restoring coastal areas in one of the few veto over-rides against President Bush. But that's just a drop in the bucket - pun intended. -sammie

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Anonymous said...

Both harbor's breakwaters have been stopping the normal passage of sediments now for a few decades or more. First it was the breakwater at the entrance to new harbor that filled in . I remember when the the surf line on charlestown was just behind the chief's house.
...now it has filled in all the way to the end of the breakwall. The same thing will happen to the old harbor breakwater in time. People have blamed the sand collecting in front of Ballard's resort to the recent building of the sewer outflow , but I think that might only have sped it up .
...whatever the cause the sediment needs to be removed on Both sides of the breakwaters to make any dredge last more than a year or two. But the army corps does not and will not recognise the need to dredge Outside of the wall.
...only in channels.

btw my user-name is bugmon , but I cant seem to retrieve my pw forsome reason , so I remain anon

Everett said...

Well Bugmon, since you've been here long enough to remember the sand line being just behind the Chief's house,( Just knowing it was the Chief's house puts you as a long time resident/visitor), you must also have known John Brotherhood who lived on Spring Street. He had a friend who has been studying the movement of sand and dunes along the coast for a lot of years! The friend had put together a tape made up of many thousands of hours of a camera sitting in a fixed position on a beach somewhere. It distinctly showed the movement of the sand and the dunes as they moved along due to water AND wind acting on them over the years. Hey Logan, if you're reading this, can you see if that tape might still be in your families possession?

Sam said...

I'd be interested in that kind of stuff, Everett! Every place is different, even though the same mechanisms are there. Every year and every day is different on the beach.

I looked up in my estimators manual and a cubic yard of construction sand or crushed rock weighs a little over a ton - about 2,500 pounds. A cubic yard is 3 by 3 by 3 feet - a large excavator scoop or several little tractor scoops.

So when you think about shifting beaches, erosion, and dunes, think about the massive tonnage of material that is being displaced.

It is truly incredible.

Anonymous said...

photos taken by NEA after a storm. An arial taken from above SE light showing a yellow / tan body of water (sand-laden) stretching seaward about 1/4 mile and moving towards the NW towards old harbor.
Wind / water erosion taking from the landowners on the S / se side of the island and re-distributing it to the old harbor area.

One wonders if this is 'trickle-down' econonmics , or a liberal wealth distribution scheme ....and that would make someone further wonder if wind and sea are truely 'for' Obama's wealth distribution adjenda , or are merely maintaining a conservative approach to the old tuna club's beach.

... but i digress ..sorry

bugmon

Everett said...

NEA? Would that be New England Airlines? I'll have to ask Lois if she has a copy of that pic as I would like to see it.

Yeah mon! We are all in for a large "redistribution of the wealth" if that guy gets elected! I am amazed that so many people can't see the forest for the trees with him! I tell you, I'm worried for us, The USA, because we have already seen just what he will do when a national or international crisis jumps up and bites us on the ass! Is he going to go to the UN and ask for censure when some crazy-assed jihadist unloads a dirty bomb or a nuke in that self same city? Good luck finding whats left of the building!

Sam said...

Man, you two need to lighten up on the Narragansett beer!

I don't care what the Presidential candidates might say, but Bush blew it big time in Georgia and this has been brewing for a long while. Bush has blown his cover on Putin, that Pakistani general who resigned today, Iraq, Iran, and Afghanistan. Need the list go on? That's on his watch. So far, no new President is elected and his watch would start on January 20, 2009.

Not that I think the two dud candidates could do any better, mind you.

And what on Earth has this to do with Corn Neck Road, the beach, the Old Harbor, and the erosion? Nothing. Not a darn thing.

Come to think of it, Narragansett is some pretty good stuff!
sammie

Anonymous said...

By anonymous X.
Everett, the great redistribution of wealth has already taken place.
Brought to you by the Republican party.
My share must be lost in the mail.
Did you get yours?

Anonymous said...

Bugmon sez

Sorry . I guess I started that pol dio.

It seems like there is too much sand on both sides of the breakwaters .

Lets try to find a solution to our own problems here on block island , because we all know that we really cant depend on who is elected president to help us in that dept.

My own pers opin is that everyone of us collectively has more control of our destiny as individuals and as a country than any president will. In other words change comes from what each of us does , not from a president that preaches that word.

...but I digress ,,,,lets talk sand / sediment policy!

Back to topic! 8*-)

Sam said...

Well how about this: y'all get a crane barge and a scow to dig out the channel and inside of the breakwater with a clamshell crane attachment, and truck the sand to dump where needed on the beach-side of the roadway that is getting skinny against the beach.

This is far cheaper than getting huge dredges. Might even work. -sam

Sam said...

About 400 years ago?

Sam said...

My point is that it takes a long time to set up for harbor dredging, some beach renourishment, and some highway engineering. The question is whether such things can or should be expedited, within the powers of the Town Council and the limitations of the budget. That decision is definitely not mine and I'm smart enough to butt out of Block Island politics.

But remember, you have to start something today if you want it done in two or four years. So take a look yourself and see if it looks like the ocean erosion is trying to take over some of your roads over the next five years. That's all I can say.

Everett said...

No Mr. anonymouse chicken, I'm not afraid to admit that I was on the council. It was some time in the late 80's I think. I'm sure you have the exact date and will be forthcoming with it.
Just how in hell do you KNOW that I did nothing about it? Did you attend every single meeting over the two years I was there? How about even one? I don't recall seeing a chicken suit in the audience. Were you there when I tried to secure the piece of land behind Aldos to be used as a municipal parking lot? Free for towns people, at some little cost to visitors on a per day basis? Did you see how it was Poo pooed by the two lady council members as a no good idea and got it scuttled? That would have been Martha and Kim if you forgot who was at those meetings that you didn't attend! Then THEY managed to have it turned into low cost housing, plus a virtual free house for the Leone's. And now the foundations of these wonderful houses are developing cracks and slowly sinking into the SWAMP that they were built on! Were you there Mr. Chicken shit name caller? I don't recall seeing you?
When the US Navy wanted to bring a submerged secure transmission line from it's network of SOSUS underwater listening devices to the USCG station at the new harbor, Martha and Kim also decided it was not necessary 'cause the soviet Union had just imploded and there was no reason for that to happen. When I protested and mentioned that just because the CCCP was defunct, the Chinese would probably be the adversary we would be facing in some sort of world conflict, I was accused of being a racist and making detrimental comments about the Chinese people!! So if I had brought something up about the road/sand/beach problem, in that atmosphere of elitist "know it all-ism", it would have advanced about two millimeters before being dismissed as racist toward sand molecules, or that that space was needed for more slip sliding away low income housing!
Hypocrite? I can say hypocrite! Can you stand up and be a man? Tell you what, at High Noon on Labor Day, I'll meet you down town at Rebecca. You bring your verbal knives, slings and arrows, and I'll bring my brandy new gang-banger friendly, kid killing, store robbing, anarchy inducing Sig Sauer Model 1911 .45 Caliber pistola and we shall see who is a hypocritical,chicken livered, hide behind your anononimity piece of nitrogenous waste matter! That previous reference means "Poo" in case you have lost your Funk and Wagnalls. TIFN

Everett said...

Oh, by the way, just what the hell is a "Hypocite" ? Must be place where Hippo's go to have a good time. No, that would be a Hippo SITE! Maybe it is a place they go to expound on things Hippo related, or just to re-CITE? Got me dude, could you elucidate for all we morons?

Everett said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sam said...

Whoa, good rant, the Duke of BI is on fire!

Noe Ev, remember what you said before about cyber-snipers and people who have alligator mouths and hummingbird azzes ... it's no big deal.

And please don't shoot Miss Rebecca in the booby or yourself in the knee. Save your caps for teaching the kids!

The point is that in the 1980's, I don't thing erosion was a big thing except down by the SE Lighthouse and Mohegan Bluffs, which got fairly dangerous. I bet your Island Rescue crew got a little exercise down yonder. That's my recollection, anyway.

Sam said...

Somebody has a poopy-pants attitude here, and since Everett is usually funny as heck, we pick you!

Anonymous said...

I agree with Sam about the poopy-pants attitude. It seems to me that Everett has served this community and his country well.He served his country honorably for 20 years,was on the school committee for 10 years and as I remember was a force in getting the school going in the right direction.Served on the Rescue Squad for a number of years,and also served a 2 year term on the town council.I almost forgot, didn't he also spent a year volunteering as the school maintenance supervisor?
anon. Friday 8/22 10:10 P.M., what have you done for your country and community? From the way you are always complaining it doesn't sound like much.
Everett isn't afraid to put his thoughts and feelings out there for everyone to read. I give him credit for not hiding behind "anonymous".
Why can't you do the same?

Anonymous said...

Sorry, I hit the wrong button. The last post was from catt not anonymous

Sam said...

I dunno, I live on a small island with maybe 700 voters and I serve on a few committees and it's a great way to meet people and have fun - and to really piss some people off, too!

But the same people that bash me one day want to invite me for a coffee or a beer the next, or to thank me for a really great idea the council wants to adopt (which I find rather embarrassing).

I'll take that over big-city politics and all that party machinery.

You're supposed to get mad! Go for it. But it's the idea that stinks, not the man or the woman. Lord knows, I've hatched a few stink-bombs in my day, and there will be more.

And knowing people, there will always be a few who are just plain grumpy, hold grudges, and will never agree to anything. You can't make them happy, and grumpy is what they prefer.

Don't these these bahstids get you down.

Everett said...

I couldn't find one person including me who remembered the two years I was on the council including me, so I of course MUST have been 'Ill Prepared" and slept through all of them. After all I was a little over 50 back then and my narcolepsy was catching up with me. So if I was indeed there in the early 90's, and the CCCP broke up in '90, was I not correct in my statements?
And I as always, just love the way you extrapolate what I say into something that suits you better. How the hell does what I said morph into,"you don't like low income housing and the Early learning center". My reference was too the LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION of THOSE two entities! Do you have some sort of brain deficiency where you can't differentiate between things as they are and things as YOU want them to be? I think you are in dire need of a pre-frontal lobotomy! Scrape all that useless crap out of your head dude and get a life!

catt said...

to anon Aug.24th 9:06 pm. I ask again, what have you don for your town and country??

Sam said...

Yeah, to the anonymous troll posting on Sunday, August 24, 2008 9:06:00 PM, what they heck did you do for the Block Island community?

And if you were here during those years in question, why didn't YOU bring up the need for coastal and harbor maintenance?

I think I know the answer ... since trolls are just that way.

Sam said...

Well, I am not an engineer qualified to work in Rhode Island so hey, if it's not a problem, let's move on. I think this is the second or third blog that Everett wrote about that part of Corn Neck Road, so naturally I had a concern because that is a weak part in the roadway system. If I didn't care about Block Island, I wouldn't spend all this time talking about it, anyway.

Hope you all have had a pleasant summer, in the last days before Labor Day. -sam

catt said...

ANONO-MICE !!!!! please take a number.

Anonymous said...

What's the difference between anonymous and catt.

catt said...

catt is an individual, anonymous are many different people. If you take a number we will know which one we are talking to.