HARBERT — Access to the Harbert Road-end beach in Chikaming Township was restored on June 30 as a group of volunteers retrieved the bottom portion of a multi-tiered stairway system that had washed away in a storm, landing at Cherry Beach.

The project started about 9:30 a.m. June 29 when a crew including Dave Rudolph and men and women in blue from the Chikaming Police helped carry the stairs north along the shore (project coordinator Jill Underhill and Shelly Taylor later joined in as did two people riding fat-tire bikes on the beach).

Once the old stairs had been re-attached there was still a significant drop off at the end. Rudolph, Mike Davidson, Joe Sepik and others devised a different plan — flipping the stairs to the south and adding an additional section to reach the sand.

The project was done in two days (June 29 and 30) and over the holiday weekend (July 5-7) people could be seen enjoying the lake and very narrow strip of beach adjacent to the restored stairway.

“Now we just hope the stairs make through the season so people in the community can enjoy a little beach and sun,” said Chikaming Park Board Chairperson Deborah Hall-Kayler.

The stairs accessing the Pier Street road-end beach in Chikaming Township continue to be closed due to high levels of Lake Michigan waters.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Detroit District, recently announced that that based on preliminary data, new record high monthly mean water levels were set on Lake Superior, Lake St. Clair, Lake Erie and Lake Ontario in June while Lake Michigan-Huron was less than one inch from its all-time June record.

“With another wet month across the Great Lakes basin, water levels continued to rise in June and have reached some of the highest levels in our recorded history, which dates back to 1918,” said Keith Kompoltowicz, chief of Watershed Hydrology, Detroit District.

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