Slabs of concrete "12 inches thick" could slow bluff erosion in southeast Wisconsin

RACINE COUNTY -- The concrete is coming. Within the next couple of weeks, residents of Racine County's lakeshore communities can take advantage of a contractor's generosity in the effort to build up their eroding bluffs.

Bluff erosion in Racine County

Mount Pleasant Village President Jerry Garski says a contractor on a construction project at the Waukegan Airport has agreed to donate enough concrete to cover a couple of football fields or so -- for use by those lakeshore residents affected by bluff erosion.

"These are 10-by-10-foot square slabs, 12 inches thick," Garski said.

To be clear, the Wisconsin DNR said the concrete, which could come as soon as July 28th, does not represent a final solution.

Bluff erosion in Racine County

"The county's making available one part of the material that you need -- and then it's up to the land owner to come up with those bigger stones to place in front," said Martin Griffin with the Wisconsin DNR.

Bluff erosion in Racine County

Engineering and installation costs remain the responsibility of property owners. But those who apply with their local municipality can have their project-specific portion of concrete delivered free of charge.

"The Department of Transportation, we hope, will do a cost-sharing of the fuel to be able to bring that up -- so the county will not be bearing the full brunt of the fuel cost," said Jonathan Delagrave, Racine County executive.

Residents along the lakeshore are using devices to monitor the rate of erosion to the bluffs. They hope the concrete fix will slow that rate significantly.