Kenai to rebuild trail to beach

The City of Kenai plans to reconstruct the washed-out portion of Meeks Trail in time for this year’s dipnet fishery opening.

“It gets a lot of use, especially during dipnet season. … So that’s why I’m trying to fast track it and get it done before dipnet season starts,” said Sean Wedemeyer, Kenai public works director.

At its Wednesday meeting, city council allocated $70,000 to reconstruct an eroded culvert and reconstruct the trail. Construction will begin July 1 and end, Wedemeyer hopes, by July 9.

The trail starts in Old Town Kenai, runs down the bluffs, across a bridge to North Beach and hooks halfway down Kenai Avenue. Significant rains last fall flooded a culvert underneath the top of the trail and, because the drain was too short, the rain washed out the bluff below the trail, taking that portion of the trail with it.

To repair the trail, city crews will link new culvert drainage from top of the trail to the existing culvert where the trail eroded and, from there, to the bottom of the bluff. That will prevent water from eroding the top of the slope, as it did in the fall, Wedemeyer said.

Crews will also widen the existing tail and place drain rock in the new, open culverts.

“We’re trying to get it done before dipnetting starts,” Wedemeyer said, “but it may take a couple extra days.”

 

Dan Schwartz can be reached at daniel.schwartz@peninsulaclarion.com.

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