Eroding Sea Wall Forces Relocation Of Vista Fleet
Local Tourist Attraction Still To Operate As Normal
DULUTH, Minn. — Crumbling sea walls have forced emergency repairs behind the DECC, and that includes a major shift in operations for the Vista Fleet.
Years of erosion is now heavily affecting the Vista Fleet. Its 100-ton boat is being forced to move to a temporary docking station for the season. The city says the section of sea wall that the Vista usually docs is the worst. The sea wall is decaying to the point of concrete sinking and shifting because of the infrastructure built in the 1800s.
“We live in Duluth Minnesota, so you know, you don’t have a lot of earth quakes up here, but when you are standing on concrete that’s moving underneath your feet, it can be an unpleasant feeling,” said Justin Steinbach, co-owner of the Vista Fleet.
Steinbach is taking the changes in stride because the history is so unique and there’s a plan for the temporary fix.
The area around the dock is falling apart because the timbers below are originally from the 1800s. The city of Duluth is hoping to get their hands on millions of dollars in state and federal port funding to eventually overhaul the sea walls.
As for the plan, the big Vista boarding station will shift about 100 feet along the wall behind the DECC, and a safely mounted platform is being built for the other docking station between the William A. Irvin and the Minnesota Slip Bridge.
“We’ve had some great open conversations with the DECC and the city and they’ve been really receptive and really helpful. It’s really nice to see their commitment to fixing infrastructure,” Stienbach said.
The city owns the sea walls, the DECC manages them for the city and the Vista rents from the DECC. The city is working to secure $10 to $12 million in state and federal port grants to help reconstruct the sea walls.
If you have any concern about the current condition of the sea wall, engineers and city officials are confident the new boarding areas for the vista fleet behind the DECC are 100 percent safe and will be monitored throughout the season.