Birch Bay Drive Beach Berm and Pedestrian Facility Improvements

Birch Bay Cross-Section

The seaside community of Birch Bay has experienced significant beach erosion since the USACE excavated gravel from the Bay in the 1950s, creating a sediment deficit that altered the natural patterns of beach erosion and deposition. Bulkheads, riprap revetments, and groins constructed to stabilize the beach and protect Birch Bay Drive and adjacent development from scour and flooding have not been successful, reducing the quality of the Bay’s recreational amenities and habitat.

ESA is designing a sustainable 1.6-mile soft shore protection berm to return the shoreline to a more natural condition, improve natural coastal and ecological processes, and reduce storm/flood damage. By weaving an accessible shoreline path into the berm design the project provides opportunities to enhance shore access and improve pedestrian safety along Birch Bay Drive. The berm interrupts the flow of stormwater from the improved right-of-way to the bay.  A roadside swale was incorporated to facilitate stormwater drainage and improve water quality while providing separation between pedestrian and vehicle traffic.

Experts in coastal engineering, hydrology, geomorphology, trail design, stormwater design, cultural resources, NEPA, and land use and environmental permitting are all contributing to this project. ESA conducted wind-wave growth, transformation, and refraction modeling using SWAN; longshore and cross shore sediment transport modeling using XBEACH; hydrological modeling using; coastal flooding analysis consistent with FEMA guidance; and upland and stream hydrology for outfall and culvert design.

Specialized Services

  • Coastal modeling/engineering
  • Construction documents (PS&E)
  • Cultural resources
  • Environmental permitting
  • Fish passage design
  • Stormwater management

Related images

Birch Bay Shoreline