Our area communities may not be functioning on a business-as-usual formula these days due to the wickedness of the coronavirus pandemic that has singed the world, but nevertheless some things are getting done. Like necessary things.

At a recent meeting of the Menominee City Council’s Finance Committee, by Zoom technology, the committee reviewed its options regarding the installation of riprap on Harbor Drive, which connects First Street with the government pier and the historic lighthouse. A boat launch ramp at the entrance of the pier is a favorite boat launching site for sports fishermen.

The Department of Natural Resources has earmarked $100,000 for shoreline protection for Harbor Drive. The DNR, however, has been unable to petition for bids because of the emergency restrictions brought on by the pandemic outbreak. The city, which has had an understanding with Menominee contractor Barley Trucking & Excavating for emergency work, and the DNR worked out an agreement whereby Barley could become the sole bidder.

According to City Manager Tony Graff, the project stretches from where the pier begins to 600 feet northward. The stretch is defenseless against the powerful wave actions and water spills onto the roadway and beyond. Graff considers the protect to be crucial in protecting the road and water spilling into the adjacent Dunn Paper Co. parking and storage area The city manager is hopeful Barley will be able to complete the work by May 15 before the anticipated wave of upcoming storms.

The riprap protective method has been utilized by private property owners along the Green Bay waterfront in Menominee and Marinette counties in recent years.

The Detroit district of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced April 7 that Lakes Michigan and Huron, along with Erie and St. Clair, set new monthly mean water level records for March, breaking the previous record from 1986. Currently, on their period of seasonal rise, the lakes will continue to rise toward their peaks, which the Corps projects to occur in the late spring or summer.

High water levels have been a major source of concern for years for private property owners and municipalities along the Green Bay shoreline. In the case of the city of Menominee, the $100,000 appropriation from the Michigan DNR will help cushion the blow of future storm actions.