Concrete erosion control at Mattie Kelly Park worries resident

Concrete from road projects is being used in an emergency erosion control project at Mattie Kelly Park in Destin.

What the city calls an emergency erosion safeguard at Mattie Kelly Park, Destin resident Phil Knight sees as an “accident waiting to happen.”

Knight first raised a concern involving the concrete chunks placed along the shore of Mattie Kelly Park in a message on The Log’s Facebook page.

 “This is a horrible idea, as there are many sharp edges… Children play here all the time…” Knight wrote.

 “Personally, I think there are probably better places to dump a bunch of busted up concrete,” Knight said in a follow-up phone interview.

Doug Rainer, public information manager for the City of Destin, said the concrete is being used to “firm up the shoreline."

"What we are doing is our city contractors are taking old pieces of sidewalk from around the city to help with the erosion problem there,” he said.

Public services director David Campbell said it was an “emergency” measure meant to stabilize the banks after some “heavy duty winds” threatened to cause a breach between a retention pond and the lake area.

“We could not get our vehicles back to the park,” he said.

Rainer told The Log that he personally visited the Mattie Kelly Park upon hearing of the concern to examine and photograph the shoreline. He noted although he did not see any exposed rebar, the safety issue will be discussed.

"We will talk and make sure that nothing like that is left out," Rainer stated, "We will take a look to make sure there is nothing hazardous exposed."

Contact reporter Savannah Chastain at 654-8464 or email