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Sinkhole in Saugatuck: Municipalities across the region face growing problems from erosion

Posted at 11:24 PM, Jan 13, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-13 23:24:14-05

High water levels continue to batter the lakeshore, as widespread erosion takes its toll across the state.

In the middle of Lakeshore Drive in Saugatuck Township a sinkhole is growing.

“About 10 feet across and 22 feet deep, the important thing to that is it’s changing almost daily,” Saugatuck Township Manager Griffin Graham said.

Saugatuck Township leaders have their attention focused on the sinkhole, which is just feet from a crumbling Lake Michigan bluff.

The road is now shutdown to traffic.

With the high water-levels and the erosion that whole bluff is becoming unstable in certain parts, that’s why the Allegan County road commission and fire department have taken these alternative steps,” Graham explained.

Graham says they are looking at just about every possible fix.

“We’ve looked at everything from the options of working with the Army Corps of Engineers to shore protect that stretch, repairing the road, bumping the road back, relocating the road completely, we’ve relied on the experts,' Graham added.

But smaller municipalities like Saugatuck, need help from their neighbors, last week the township board adopted a resolution that when certified will be sent to county, state and federally elected officials asking for special consideration for aid requests.

Graham says erosion is no new problem and he's hoping whatever they decide to do, brings a longer-lasting solution.

“We are just trying to prioritize safety, that can be tough for folks to swallow and we don’t take that lightly and we are doing the best we can to try keep people informed and bring stakeholders in to bring solutions both in the short term and long term.

This not only a thing Saugatuck is dealing with, across the lakeshore these erosion problems continue to grow and mother nature is not taking any breaks.