Sporthaven seawall

Harbormaster Travis Webster, left, with Port Manager Gary Dehlinger, shows the approximate height and location of a temporary seawall to be installed soon at Sporthaven Beach. The roadway along the beach will be closed during the installation. 

When winter storms send waves crashing onto Sporthaven Beach, saltwater, sand and debris are sometimes carried across the roadway above the beach and into the adjacent RV park. 

The result is not only a mess to be cleaned up, but trouble for the sewer system operated by Harbor Sanitary District. Drains at the now-closed shower and toilet facility and sewer connections at the RV sites are vulnerable when high-tide events occur, putting extra strain on the sewage treatment system and creating potential environmental risk. 

Sporthaven is managed by the Port of Brookings-Harbor which has long-term plans to expand the RV park and install new restroom facilities in addition to a wooden seawall. But in the meantime, port commissioners agreed at a meeting on June 16 to install a temporary two-foot concrete block seawall this summer. 

In a memo to commissioners, Port Manager Gary Dehlinger said the port engineer has provided calculations and comments on a plan to create a seawall using unsecured concrete blocks to withstand a 1-foot breaking wave. 

“This wall would certainly impede sand-carrying water, and thus would be effective in protecting sanitary features,” Dehlinger said. He said the plan is consistent with a discussion the board and management had at a special meeting June 11 as a solution to the sanitary district’s concerns about protecting the sewer system. 

Harbormaster Travis Webster said the procurement process for the blocks is underway and installation will be scheduled as soon as possible this summer. When the blocks are available, it will be necessary to close the roadway along Sporthaven Beach for at least a day. 

The two-foot high blocks will be placed about 10 feet back from the existing riprap to create a pathway using the existing concrete and asphalt pavement. Sections of the blocks would be removed to create access points for pedestrians, including at the seasonal beach ramps. The blocks would be reinstalled during King Tide winter storms. 

On the roadway side of the wall, parking stops would be placed two feet back from the blocks to keep vehicles from hitting the wall. 

The roadway will be reduced to a single lane with one-way traffic. Following the installation of the wall, the parking area will be re-striped and signage installed. Webster said there will be a reduction in parking spaces. 

The port also plans to install self-closing sewer caps for all of the full hook-up RV sites. 



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