Even as the cold weather moves in and the days become shorter, construction has not stopped here at Seaside Seawalls! Today we are going to discuss a project we completed around the end of the summer season: the installation of a brand new black steel seawall for a residential customer on Union Lake in West Bloomfield, Michigan. The town of West Bloomfield is situated in the greater Oakland County, and is home to approximately 64,690 residents. Known for its rolling hills and large-sized homes, the township of West Bloomfield is sometimes referred to as the “lake township of Oakland County” due to the many small and medium-sized lakes the township houses. West Bloomfield has a total area of 31.2 square miles, of which 27.3 square miles is land and 3.9 square miles (or 12.49% – a significant percentage!) is water. This job was tricky in some ways, because of the many permits we were required to obtain before we could begin any construction. For instance, in addition to getting the usual DEQ Permit, we were also required to obtain 2 extra permits (namely the ‘West Bloomfield Wetlands Permit’ and the ‘West Bloomfield Soil Erosion and Sediment Control Permit’). While we are of course used to applying for DEQ Permits, as most of our projects require that we have one, the township of West Bloomfield required us to go through an additional extensive application and permitting process. After being approved for our DEQ Permit, we then had to apply for the West Bloomfield Wetlands Permit. This involved us going in front of the Wetland Review Board and detailing the project to them step-by-step. But that’s not all! Once approved, there is a 21 day waiting period to allow persons with any objections to come forward. After we’d been approved for the Wetlands Permit, we then needed to apply for the West Bloomfield Soil Erosion and Sediment Control Permit, which can be a very lengthy and sometimes confusing process if you have never done so prior to this point. But because Seaside Seawalls always plays by the rules (one of the many reasons we are such a reputable seawall company throughout the State of Michigan), we were patient and waited for the approval and receipt of all 3 permits. Let the construction begin! After gathering the necessary materials (black steel, sand for the backfill, and riprap) as well as the essential equipment (skid steer, excavator, and 3 permits), we were ready to go. We installed the new black steel seawall in front of the existing, old and failing seawall. The customer’s old seawall was not tied back sufficiently and had no means of drainage. Tiebacks and proper drainage are two very important components of seawalls that can essentially “make or break” them. In other words, without a good drainage system and strong tiebacks in place, a seawall’s longevity is greatly impacted. In this case, ice pressure had built up behind the wall, causing the seawall to be pushed outward, and breaking the welds and tiebacks. Nevertheless, we corrected this problem by building a brand new steel seawall that is 68 feet long and 30 inches high, including sturdy tiebacks and a means of drainage built into the wall. Some additional information about Union Lake: It is a 465 acre lake with a maximum depth of 110 feet. While there is no public beach on Union Lake, there is a public access point just off of Union Lake Road. Residents of Union Lake frequently use the lake for water sports and activities, as well as fishing. Some of the fish you are likely to find in this lake include Blue Gill, Smallmouth Bass, Largemouth Bass, Crappie, Northern Pike, and Walleye. As previously mentioned, Union Lake is located in the greater Oakland County of Michigan. Oakland County is a very large county in Michigan, with a total estimated population of 1,202,362 residents. Due to the harsh winters we experience here in Michigan, you’re going to want to ensure that your waterfront property is well-protected. As we know, the ever-changing ground pressure due to the hot summers and cold winters we have can cause a poorly-constructed seawall to fail and cause shoreline erosion. So before the cold weather really hits, be sure to contact Seaside Seawalls for a free estimate about your next marine construction project! Be sure to follow us on Twitter as well for frequent updates on our latest developments!