Action Report: Cement sidewalks have been sinking at the Bay St. Louis Harbor

Action Report: Cement sidewalks have been sinking at the Bay St. Louis Harbor

BAY ST. LOUIS, MS (WLOX) - A crack in a cement pier at the Bay St. Louis Harbor has a contractor and city officials working together on trying to find a solution.

The Bay St. Louis Harbor opened in June of 2014, and the city engineer says the problem began about six months after the marina opened. The $22 million harbor brought new life to the waterfront in Old Town Bay St. Louis. Built after Hurricane Katrina, it has leased 80 percent of its boat slips.

Earlier in the week, boaters and visitors to the harbor noticed workers tearing up a portion of the concrete slab; a crack in the concrete pier connected to the seawall visible.

Bay St. Louis city engineer Jason Chiniche says they've been monitoring two areas for almost two years.

"Basically, the sand material used for the back fill on the parking lot and sidewalk, some of it has migrated through the wall which has caused some settlement on the surface," Chiniche said. "So that's why the city came out this week to excavate and remove the concrete sidewalk to get a better understanding to what is going on."

The sinking problem on the southwest section of the harbor sidewalk has also developed on the northwest sidewalk, which has dropped about an inch.

"We're going to try to schedule a meeting with the contractor next week to get some repairs underway," noted Chiniche.

The big question: Will citizens of Bay St. Louis have to pay for the repairs, or will the contractor? Chiniche says he doesn't expect citizens will have to come up with any money.

"I don't anticipate it," stated Chiniche. "We've been looking at this as a warranty item. The contractor has been working with us pretty well on it, and he has agreed to come in and make some repairs to it."

Chiniche says he and the contractor hope to develop a solution next week to bring the harbor back to it original serene appearance. The engineer also notes that the issue that has developed isn't that big of a problem, considering the harbor was a $22 million project.

WLOX will have a follow up story on what will be done to correct the sinking sidewalks.

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