Erosion Control

A safety fence has been set up along the Flat Creek bank at the Union City Park near the basketball courts. Union Parks and Recreation Director Angela Sullivan said the shore has become unstable and the fence was put up to keep people away from the area. The city is working toward a permanent solution to the erosion issues plaguing the creek. - Missourian Photo/Joe Barker.

The city of Union is working to address erosion issues at the city park.

Before the issues can be formally addressed, Parks and Recreation Director Angela Sullivan said caution fencing has been put up to keep people away from the dangerous area.

Flat Creek, which runs through the park, has erosion issues on its bank near the basketball courts.

Sullivan said the erosion has made part of the ground unstable and the city is worried it could give way. The fencing is in place to prevent anyone from getting too close to the area.

In the meantime, the city is coming up with a long-term solution.

Sullivan said she met with the Missouri Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to discuss the issue. She said unfortunately there is not an opportunity for funding assistance, but DNR did offer some “easy” solutions.

One suggestion from DNR was to remove stumps and woody debris from the creek. Sullivan said the stumps can cause the creek to change its flow and by removing them, the creek could normalize.

Another suggestion was to trim some of the low-hanging trees over the creek. Sullivan said it might not look like it, but the trees could cause a change in the flow.

The trees could be moved to the southern bank to spur growth, which would help with erosion. City Engineer Jonathan Zimmermann said establishing vegetation along the bank is the best way to prevent further erosion.

Sullivan said this work could take place in the spring.

Further down the road, Sullivan said the she’s looking at allocating money in the 2018-19 budget for gabion baskets. She said they would be installed along the bank and help stop erosion.

A gabion basket is a “basket full of rocks,” said City Administrator Russell Rost. They are used to direct water away from the damaged area.

The city has some in the park by the memorial bridge and Rost said they have worked for years.

The gabion baskets were seen as a good long-term solution. Sullivan said she expects them to cost around $50,000-$75,000.

Sullivan said she looked into just placing big rocks in the creek, but there was concerns about flooding. With a major flood event, like the city has had in recent years, the rocks could be jostled and moved from the desired area.