By Barbara Rowles
Superintendent, Perry’s Victory and International Peace Memorial.

We’ve been working towards this for several years and are extremely happy that the project to restore the seawalls at Perry’s Victory and International Peace Memorial is finally underway. Completion of this important project will protect the Memorial from future flooding events and create safer conditions for residents and visitors by limiting wave overtopping and managing stormwater. We understand the inconvenience that this may cause and will do everything we can to keep everyone informed and minimize disruptions.

E.S. Wagner Co. from Oregon, Ohio was awarded the contract and has been working with the National Park Service and others over the winter to prepare. They will be mobilizing in March with construction starting in early April. Temporary utility relocations were completed in late 2021 and all utilities will be returned underground when the seawall project is complete.

  • Details of the project:
    The south seawall will be raised 18” from current height as well as the walkway and an 80-foot extension will be added to the southwest corner adjacent to the swim beach. Work in the area nearest the swim beach will begin mid-April and should be complete by the end of June so that the swim beach is accessible to the public by July 4th. The remaining sections of the south seawall will be complete by the end of October 2022.
    The north seawall will be raised 12” at the northwest and center sections transitioning to 24” taller at the far northeast. Work on the northwest section will be completed April – June 2022 and the north center section and northeastern sections will be completed April – October 2023. A new walkway will be added along the north seawall.
    The seawall will have the same footprint except for a slight change to the tight curve just east of the Memorial creating more space between Bayview Avenue and the seawall.
    A new drainage system will be installed with the south side completed in 2022 and the north in 2023. Package pump stations will be added to provide the ability to drain the site during high water periods.
    An AquaDam will be used to dewater construction areas instead of a traditional sheet pile cofferdam system.
    A few visitor experience improvements will also be included.
       – Flush mounted step lights will be added along both the north and south seawalls to light the walkway at night.
       – New seating areas with benches and trash receptacles will be added to the diagonal walkways on the south and in the grassy triangle by the Dairy Isle.
       – A new interpretive plaza directly across Bayview Avenue from the Memorial will be added with full length depictions of the decks of the US Brig Lawrence and HMS Detroit carved into the walkway. Wayside panels will be added describing both vessels.
    All seawall related work will be complete by the end of 2023.
    Project Schedule
       – South Seawall: April through October 2022
       – Southwest Extension: April through June 2022
       – Northwest Seawall: April through June 2022
       – Northeast: March through June 2023
       – North Center: March through October 2023

We are so grateful to the South Bass Island/Put-in-Bay community for the support of this project and the input provided during the planning process. A major undertaking such as this cannot happen without the involvement of many, as the saying goes “it takes a village”. Looking ahead, planning for the restoration of the Upper Plaza has started with an Architect/Engineering firm and we expect this project to be under construction in 2023 and 2024. We’ll have more details to share later this summer.

Staff will arrive soon, and the park will open for the 2022 season on May 21. We plan to open the Memorial for tours to the observation deck with modifications to the operation to minimize risks to staff and visitors. Rangers will be offering outdoor programs and historic weapons demonstrations will continue with musket demonstrations every weekend and carronade firings one weekend a month. We will continue to monitor COVID19 conditions and adjust operations if necessary. One of the highlights of the season will be Perry Birthday weekend as both the US Brig Niagara and the Pride of Baltimore will make a stop at Put-in-Bay, August 20 and 21.

Planning is still in progress so more information to come. Remember to mark your calendars for the anniversary of the Battle of Lake Erie on Saturday, September 10, and plan to make some VICTORY noise at 3:15pm. We look forward to the season and to our continuing partnership with friends and neighbors in the community. We also want to express our deep appreciation to thePerry Group for the ongoing support of the park through their advocacy and fundraising efforts.

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