A community meeting is set for 5-7 p.m. Thursday at the Shoalwater Bay Tribal Center to discuss the erosion effects to Highway 105 in the North Cove and Tokeland area.
Results of the recent Tokeland and North Cove community survey done by a group called Sustainable Tokeland indicated that area residents are extremely concerned about the erosion problem. The highway is the Tokeland peninsula’s only link to coastal communities to the north without having to detour many extra miles south to Raymond and then up U.S. Highway 101 through Aberdeen and back, as well as the reverse for community members to the north attempting to get to Tokeland.
To address these concerns and explain what state plans are related to the highway, two representatives from the state Department of Transportation will make a presentation at the meeting.
Efforts to save the highway have been ongoing for many years. The state D.O.T. completed a $23 million SR105 Erosion Control Project in October of 1999 south of Washaway Beach where the highway squeezes between the bluff and the water’s edge. The project’s goal was to save SR105, the only direct link between North Cove and the Tokeland peninsula.
Work on a groin — commonly called Jacobson’s Jetty — and beach fill was completed in the fall of 1998. The groin juts 1,600 feet into the Pacific near the North Cove Pioneer Cemetery.
It was designed to reduce wave impacts on the shoreline along the protected stretch of highway, prevent the adjacent beach fill from erosion, and induce sediment accumulation along the northwest side of the groin. An underwater dike beyond the visible tip of Jacobson’s Jetty was completed in the fall of 1999. Originally planned at 2,400 feet in length, financial impacts reduced its length to 840 feet.
While the groin and dike appear to be doing their job, the beach nourishment phase is another story. During the summer and fall months, the beach fill located in the wave shadow created by the groin becomes a stable, accumulative formation. However, beach fill located outside of the shadow area to the southwest is mostly removed from the upper beach by following winter storms, leaving that section of the highway highly vulnerable to failure.
Engineering studies show that the lost sand is partially distributed across the bottom slope of the beach enhancement, partially migrated southeast toward Tokeland, and partially transported to the deep channel where it was removed out of the system by tidal flows.
Refreshments will be served.