Crews install concrete seawalls along lakeshore

Muskegon County

MONTAGUE, Mich. (WOOD) — Homeowners in Muskegon County are battling erosion in new ways. 

Tuesday morning, a crew from Florida worked to install concrete seawalls near a home on Lost Valley Road. While homeowners have been battling erosion for much of the year, this is the first time this option has ever been explored on Lake Michigan. 

A photo of TrapBags on the shore of Lake Michigan in Montague. (Dec. 17, 2019)
A photo of TrapBags on the shore of Lake Michigan in Montague. (Dec. 17, 2019)

“As we see it from year to year, it’s amazing how much is gone,” Buzz Waid with TrapBag Flood and Erosion Protection said.

TrapBag Flood and Erosion Protection installed the new seawall. 

The contractors pour mixed cement into plastic bags, let it dry and then stack two more smaller bags on top. The plastic is them cut away and removed.

The blocks of concrete are held together by steel cables and rods and form a sloped structure. At the end of the process, the wall will span about 260 cubic yards. 

A photo of TrapBags on the shore of Lake Michigan in Montague. (Dec. 17, 2019)
A photo of TrapBags on the shore of Lake Michigan in Montague. (Dec. 17, 2019)

“You can see the waves coming in now. As the beach eventually comes up, this system will allow the beach to completely encapsulate in sand and it won’t deteriorate because it’s concrete,” contractor Josh Lewis said.

Heavy rocks are added to the front of the seawall to prevent erosion underneath the structure. The cost of the process is comparable to a steel seawall, but contractors claim the nearly million pound structure is more permanent and can be put in place sooner. 

“It’s so rapidly deploy-able. We can come in one day and stop the bleeding,” Lewis said.

Contractors say the entire installation process will take a few weeks. They say after that, EGLE will come in and inspect the structure.

Contractors say after the wall is put in, there is no way to tear it down. 

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