Letters to the Editor

Libbey Beach Park repairs planned

After years of being battered by crashing waves and rushing currents, the beach access and bluff at Libbey Beach Park located on Central Whidbey Island are due for repair.

The beach entrance and nearby bluff have been eroding for years and Island County officials want the repairs made as soon as possible.

“It needs to be reworked so people can get down there safely,” Commissioner Phil Bakke said during a tour of the beach Thursday.

The county is looking to hire Jesse Allen Excavating and Construction of Stanwood to come up with a repair plan. He proposes extending the retaining wall east to connect with a nearby wall. That wall will be constructed at the toe of the bluff.

The wood piling walls near the parking area inadvertently caused damage to the beach entrance. It funnels the waves into the entrance causing it to erode away.

“It catches all of the energy and blasts it into the corner,” Allen said while explaining the details of his proposal to county officials touring Libbey Beach Park. He proposes altering the wall to allow the water to flow past the entry during high tides while still providing protection from storms coming in from the west. Alterations include straightening the wall and removing a dog leg.

There isn’t a timeline set for the project. It still has to go through the permitting process. Bakke said he hopes the project will be complete by next summer.

The park at one time had a boat ramp, but that had to be removed years ago after sustaining damage in a severe winter storm. About two years ago, the county fenced off the beach entrance because it was considered unsafe. The gate that blocked the beach entrance has since toppled.

Allen noticed the damage becomes more extensive each time he inspects the area.

“Each time I come to the site, I’m amazed at the changes,” Allen said.

Island County has a $150,000 budget for the project and it is being funded by money the county collects through real estate excise taxes.

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