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Damage to sea wall threatens Rush Pavilion at Columbian Park

Construction crews found structural damage lurking below the murky surface of the Columbian Park lagoon.

Posted: Mar 30, 2021 1:28 PM
Updated: Mar 30, 2021 6:31 PM

LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) — Construction crews found structural damage lurking below the murky surface of the Columbian Park lagoon.

The crews discovered huge, horizontal cracks on the sea wall beneath Rush Pavilion after draining the lagoon.

As News 18 previously reported, the lagoon was drained as part of the Memorial Island reconstruction project. 

Architects and engineers say water penetrated the cracks and eroded the ground underneath the porch.

Parks Superintendent Claudine Laufman calls the setback a blessing in disguise because the pavilion could have been further damaged without immediate repairs.

"I think we were really lucky that we drained the lagoon and were actually able to visualize the entire surrounding area including that sea wall in front of Rush Pavilion, so we were able to hire architects and engineers to evaluate that," she says. 

Laufman says crews will pump in a grout material to harden and stabilize the existing wall. They'll also pour a new sea wall to prevent further water erosion.

"Fortunately, we caught it in the nick of time and were able to make those repairs," she says. "That building is a really important structure to the fabric of that whole area."

The repair will cost $44,000, bringing the total cost to more than $6.5 million. Laufman says the Memorial Island project is on track to be completed this summer.

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