Project to stabilize Girl Scout Point heads to Superior City Council

The erosion stabilization plan is designed to protect historic city assets in Billings Park.

Crews worked on a new fire pit on Girl Scout Landing in Billings Park along with built-in benches on Monday, Oct. 5, 2020, in Superior.
Jed Carlson / 2020 File / Superior Telegram

SUPERIOR — City officials have a plan to address erosion on Girl Scout Point.

Superior's Public Works Committee on Thursday, April 6, approved a contract with Nordic Underwater Services to stabilize the shoreline on the point in Billings Park at a cost of $99,070.

There has been some significant erosion from the river right below Stone Circle; engineering technicians came up with a plan that consists mostly of riprap and geogrid, and backfilling to stabilize the shore, said Linda Cadotte, director of parks, recreation and forestry.

“The concern is if the erosion continues at the pace, eventually the top of that is going to collapse,” Cadotte said.

While areas in the municipal forest are experiencing similar erosion that officials aren't addressing, Cadotte said the difference with Girl Scout Point is the city has assets there they want to protect.


In 2020 and 2021, the city restored Stone Circle at the end of Girl Scout Point. Originally built by the Works Progress Administration in the 1930s, the fire pit is surrounded by semi-circular stone benches with a view overlooking the St. Louis River where it becomes the St. Louis Bay.

“This was deemed a good way to do that,” Cadotte said. The area will be backfilled with vegetation to further stabilize it.

Councilor Tylor Elm noted that prices varied significantly among the bidders on the project and asked if another approach might be better for stabilizing the area.

Nordic Underwater Services submitted the low bid of $99,070; other bids came in at $155,227 and $203,438.55.

All bidders received the same plans for the project, Cadotte said.

“It’s an apples-to-apples comparison. It’s more about how they’re mobilizing and how they’re doing the work," she said.

Public Works Director Todd Janigo said the mobilization is the big cost for the project.

Councilor Jenny Van Sickle asked if the erosion could potentially put anyone in danger on Girl Scout Point.


“We’re ahead of it,” said Cadotte, who discovered the erosion while paddling in the area.

If people start walking down the steep hill, which they shouldn’t be using, Cadotte said they could stumble and end up in the river. However, if they are using the park as they should, there should be no issue.

“We started on it pretty quickly,” Cadotte said. “The question was asked if we really needed to do something. There has been more erosion since we started, but I feel we got ahead of any major damage or safety concerns.”

The project will be funded through the parks improvement budget if approved by the city council Tuesday, April 18.

Shelley Nelson is a reporter with the Duluth Media Group since 1997, and has covered Superior and Douglas County communities and government for the Duluth News Tribune from 1999 to 2006, and the Superior Telegram since 2006. Contact her at 715-395-5022 or
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