Hancock County

Crack in concrete seawall in Bay’s new harbor may be from erosion

A crack can be seen in a section of the Bay St. Louis harbor's concrete slab on Thursday, Jan. 12, 2017.
A crack can be seen in a section of the Bay St. Louis harbor's concrete slab on Thursday, Jan. 12, 2017. wmuller@sunherald.com

A section of concrete slab that connects the municipal harbor pier to the seawall has cracked.

City Attorney Trent Favre said engineers believe the crack is linked to erosion.

The 2-foot-long crack runs vertically from the surface to the bottom of the slab where it connects to a retaining wall.

It appears the earth is somehow washing out from behind the concrete, putting excessive weight on a section of the slab, Favre said.

Only a couple of years old, the $22 million harbor has been a point of pride for the city since it was finished in 2014. It provides boat slips for 170 vessels and has served as a waterfront gateway for economic development in the Bay’s Old Town.

The damage was first reported to the City Council in November. Since then, city leaders have been waiting to find out exactly how the crack formed.

The engineering firm that designed the harbor — Brown, Mitchell & Alexander Inc. — is working with the builder, Gill’s Crane and Dozer Service Inc., to investigate the problem and report their findings to the Bay St. Louis Harbor Commission, City Councilman Lonnie Falgout said Thursday.

The pier remains open. Workers have begun excavating the area around the crack and have set up barricades to prevent pedestrians from falling into the construction site.

The situation has the potential to lead to litigation, but so far repair costs have been covered by a warranty, Favre said.

Neither the engineers nor the builders could be reached for comment Thursday afternoon.

Wesley Muller: 228-896-2322, @WesleySMuller

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