Chesterton Tribune

Photo: Dunes State Park collapsed parking lot to be restored

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Dunes Creek / Dunes River? Aerial photo shows the collapsed Indiana Dunes State Park main parking lot. The Pavilion is at lower right. The parking lot collapsed during the heavy rains September 13 and 14. Photo was taken by John W. Cripliver, pilot of a Piper Warrior single-engine airplane on Sept. 17. The darker water of Dunes Creek is shown flowing into Lake Michigan at bottom.

(Photo provided by John W. Cripliver)


A design consultant has been selected to prepare options for restoring the parking lot at the Indiana Dunes State Park that collapsed due to the recent flooding from Dunes Creek.

State Park Property Manager Brandt Baughman said the design firm of Troyer is scheduled to present its conceptual plans on Monday. Troyer is the same firm that designed the state park’s upgraded campground as well as the Dunes Creek “day lighting” project, in which the parking lot over part of the creek was removed.

After the torrential rainfall that began on Sept. 13, Dunes Creek overflowed with floodwaters, resulting in a collapse of part of the parking lot east of the pavilion and eroding away a large section of beach surrounding the creek outfall pipe.

Baughman said the park’s primary responsibility at this point is to stabilize the collapsed area so that further erosion doesn’t occur. “Obviously, we’re wanting to get repairs made as soon as possible,” he said.

Exactly how the lot can be repaired, while ensuring that another collapse won’t occur, is expected to be outlined in the design options to be presented Monday.

Baughman said the parking lot collapse was not the result of the daylighting project. To the contrary, he said the daylighting project created a large catch basin for water, since the creek was allowed to flow a more natural course without a parking lot above it. “The day lighting project actually minimized the damage,” he said.

Baughman: TV News Was Wrong

Baughman also corrected a claim made by some television news reports: The water entering Lake Michigan from Dunes Creek is not raw sewage but stormwater flowing out of the creek’s outlet pipe.



Posted 9/23/2008