by Karen Berkowitz, ChicagoTribune.com

Park district officials in Highland Park have learned the cost of replacing an ice-ravaged breakwater at the Park Avenue boat launch could exceed $1.3 million.

An engineering firm is recommending the Park District of Highland Park remove the sunken, retired barge that has functioned as a breakwater at Park Avenue beach since the early 1980s. The consultants from SmithGroup confirmed the more than 60 feet of the lakeside wall of the cargo box has been severely damaged, causing fill material to leach into Lake Michigan and a portion of the concrete walking surface to collapse.

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