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Lakeshore erosion causes residential road to partially collapse in Stevensville

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STEVENSVILLE, Mich. --- Lake Michigan water levels are at a record high causing the beaches and the dunes to suffer and now, an entire road to collapse.

Dune Lane in Stevensville, Mich. partially collapsed this past month from the battering waves.

Dave Randolph who lives just feet away from where the road collapsed said it was only a matter of time before this started happening. Year after year, he’s seen the tide inch closer and closer.

“I’ve lived here 44 years and we’ve had three different times of erosion and three different times of beaches,” Randolph said. “It’s been beautiful here and somewhat of a disaster.”

In the video above, SkyDrone 57 video gives an aerial view of what Dune Lane now looks like. The road has been closed off in both directions since early November.

“At this point the whole road hasn’t fallen in but it’s getting to that point,” Jason Latham said, Director at the Berrien County Road Department

Latham said the erosion has been incredibly intimidating recently. Just last Wednesday, waves on Lake Michigan reached up to 14 feet. The continuous high winds and water levels threatening the many properties on Berrien County’s shorelines.

“It’s just sand so once that sand gets wet on the toe of slope it just doesn’t have any stability whatsoever and then the whole slope just slides down and just keeps creeping forward. Every time we get those 20 to 30 mile an hour winds, it takes a couple feet of the bluff,” Latham said.

According to Latham, property owners on Dune Lane have applied for permits from the Department Of Environment Quality. They’re working to add more rocks to the base of the slope to better protect the homes from the battering conditions of Lake Michigan.

However, right now, there’s not much they can do to fix the collapsed road with the water levels continuing to rise.

“We have it closed right now and it’s going to stay closed until we can determine what the next steps are,” Latham said.

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