Beaches

Due to record high lake levels and several severe storms, our beaches have sustained unprecedented damage in recent months. Below is a look into the current conditions of our beaches and what that means for the 2020 beach season. These plans may change pending future lakefront conditions.

Lloyd Beach

Current Conditions

Lloyd has seen the most severe damage this year. On the north end of the beach, the lake has overtaken the existing steel seawall structure, rising past the boathouse. January storms caused irreparable damage to the boardwalk and boat rack structures. Portions of these structures were taken by the storm. The damaged pieces that remained were removed by staff. Very little beach remains on the north end and is a potential safety concern when any waves are present.

On the southend, the water continues to erode the bluff. At current lake levels, the south portion of the beach is not useable.

Lake levels have risen by nine inches since April 2019, leaving the lower parking lot and boat launch flooded.

Closed for Season

Lloyd will be closed for the following reasons.

Safety: Lakebed erosion and high water levels are causing large waves near shore, making the beach a potential safety hazard. During January storms, waves destroyed the boardwalk and a large portion of the non-motorized boat racks.

Loss of useable beach: The beach on the south end is gone. A small area of beach remains on the north end; however, it is frequently overtaken by waves leaving no space for non-motorized boat launching.

Boat launch flooding: The motorized boat launch is one foot above current lake levels. On days with one foot or higher waves, the launch is flooded and unusable. Data from last summer shows Lloyd Beach experienced wave heights greater than one foot during 70 percent of the summer season. That means at current lake levels, the launch would be unusable most days.

Breakwater construction: We have an opportunity to begin construction in July instead of September. Starting construction early will allow us to finish well before the 2021 season. The original timeline had construction ending in the middle of the 2021 season. The new breakwater system is part of the Winnetka Waterfront 2030 plan.

2019 rack holders will receive a free season pass to launch at Maple Street Beach.

Tower Road Beach

Current Conditions

The condition of Tower Road Beach is currently good. The extent of damage has been loss of some beach due to current lake levels. A large portion of the beach remains fully intact and useable.

As part of the Winnetka Waterfront 2030 plan, bluff restoration efforts and staircase construction is currently underway. This is scheduled to be complete July 27.

Open

Tower Road Beach will open June 13. To access the beach, patrons must have a season pass. Daily passes will not be available and no transactions will take place at the beach.

While construction of the staircase and bluff restoration are underway, a new traffic pattern will be in place. This includes a three-foot-wide temporary walkway along the beach access road. The lower lot will be open for resident parking. The upper and lower parking lot will be available to residents only. Staff will be present to direct and maintain a safe traffic flow.

Maple Street Beach

Current Conditions

Similar to Tower Road Beach, Maple Street Beach’s current condition is good. Some loss of beach has occured due to current lake levels.

Open

Maple Street Beach will open June 20 for swimming and non-motorized boat launching. A season pass will be required to access the beach. Daily fees will not be available. 2019 storage rack holders will receive a free season launch pass.

Elder Lane Beach

Current Conditions

At current lake levels, Elder has lost all of its useable beach. The boat racks have been removed, and the foundation they sat on has been damaged. Additionally, the pier has been severely damaged and is often completely covered with water.

Closed for Season

Elder will remain closed for the 2020 beach season due to lack of useable beach and potential safety concerns. The beach house will be closed and not available for rent or patron use. Barriers will be installed to prevent access to the beach.

Centennial Beach

Current Conditions

Centennial has lost a large portion of useable beach due to current lake levels. A small portion of the beach does remain, but becomes hazardous during storm events.

Open for Season

Centennial will continue to operate as a dog beach this season. The beach will not be accessible when lake conditions are hazardous. During these times, signs will be posted and the gate will remain locked (even to those with key fobs).


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