Tons of rock line the shore of the Illinois River near Riverfront Park just below the surface as the city waits for flood waters to recede for some work to preserve and beautify the riverfront.

The city paid approximately $8,000 for the rock. It was delivered just prior to the heavy rains.

“(City GIS Coordinator) Dan (Newcomb) started the project to kind of beautify the area and also shore it up a little bit after the flooding and how much cleanup we have,” said Guerra. “We wanted to utilize the money from last year’s budget to stockpile it and use our own forces to spread it out and clean up the riverfront as part of the beautification projects.”

City street department workers will place the 6- by 9-inch rocks along the shore, under the pier and at the end of the boat launch on the east side of the river. Previously, the city has used small rock to extend the cement launch so that boat trailers do not drop off and get stuck. The small rock washed away with time.

Newcomb said the rock will help with another issue.

“We’re looking to get some of that large rock down there and hopefully cut down on some of the debris and hopefully dress it up a little bit,” said Newcomb. “Hopefully it will keep people where they’re supposed to be and hopefully keep them from getting up underneath the pier, but it will also prevent erosion and help stabilize the area.”

Guerra said the water goes up and down so much in the area between the pier and the boat ramps and north of the pier that there is little vegetation. The rock will help “dress it up. It will also keep people from pulling up too close to the river with cars.”

The city hopes to move the rock into position in June, barring further heavy rains. As the rock is placed into position, crews will be cleaning the mud off of the pier, said Guerra.

Follow Sharon Woods Harris at Twitter.com/sharrispekin