Port el­gin break­wa­ter closed for assess­ment ’Ex­treme’ mea­sures for pub­lic safety

Shoreline Beacon - - News -

The de­te­ri­o­rat­ing “de­plorable” con­di­tion of the break­wa­ter at Port El­gin Main Beach har­bour forced the De­part­ment of Fish­eries and Oceans (DFO) to tem­po­rar­ily close and bar­ri­cade the north and south sections to pedes­tri­ans as it con­ducts an en­gi­neer­ing assess­ment of the con­crete struc­ture.

“These ex­treme mea­sures are for the safety of all users of the break­wa­ter ” Jayne Jagelewski, the Town’s Di­rec­tor of Com­mu­nity Ser­vices, said in an up­date­totheTown’scom­mit­tee of the whole Aug. 28 meet­ing.

Al­most two years af­ter ap­proach­ing DFO about the re­quired re­pairs, and eight months af­ter the Town of Saugeen Shores im­plored DFO to make im­prove­ments to the break­wa­ter, DFO in­formed the Town it will as­sess the break­wa­ters. The south leg was built in 1900 and ex­tended in 1904. In 1930-31 a 152.4-m por­tion of it was re­con­structed with a con­crete su­per-struc­ture on top of the ex­ist­ing tim­ber sub-struc­ture.

Al­though owned by DFO, the Town man­ages the break­wa­ter as­partofit­shar­boura­gree­ment that calls for Ot­tawa to make any im­prove­ments.

Ear­lier Jagelewski told coun­cil­lors that while the break­wa­ter was not built for pedes­tri­ans, its pop­u­lar­ity for “quiet en­joy­ment or wa­ter sports is para­mount”, and noted the Town’s Wa­ter­front Ad­vi­sory Com­mit­tee rec­om­mended mak­ing the nec­es­sary re­pairs or clos­ing the break­wa­ter to the pub­lic.

Jagelewski said the clo­sure is tem­po­rary as DFO looks for short-and long-term so­lu­tions. She an­tic­i­pated the assess­ment will be com­pleted by the end of March, and then shared with the Town and Council.

Jagelewski noted they were clear with the DFO that it is not the Town’s re­spon­si­bil­ity to en­force or mon­i­tor the break­wa­ter clo­sure.

No word from the DFO or Town when bar­ri­cades will be in­stalled.

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