Coun­cil wants to stem tide of flood­ing, ero­sion


Work­ers with the Town of Car­bon­ear have in­stalled an­other ac­cess gate and an ar­mour stone wall on the north side of the mouth of the stream which runs un­der the Gut Bridge into the har­bour.

It’s the lat­est at­tempt by the town to ad­dress a re­cur­ring prob­lem at the site.

Large stones from the new school ex­ca­va­tion site on Val­ley Road were used to con­struct the struc­ture, which juts out about 40 feet into the har­bour, per­pen­dic­u­lar to the beach.

Pub­lic works di­rec­tor Brian O’Grady told coun­cil on Jan. 24 the struc­ture should help pre­vent the build-up of beach rocks across the mouth of the chan­nel un­der the Gut Bridge, which dams off the chan­nel caus­ing wa­ter to back up and flood Ros­siter‘s, Three Corner and Car­bon­ear ponds.

The move­ment of the ocean tends to push the beach rocks to­wards the stream, and large waves push the rocks be­neath the bridge, O’Grady ex­plained.

It’s hoped the new rock struc­ture will re­duce the prob­lem.

“Now when the stone moves to­wards the bridge it hits the heavy rock wall be­fore reach­ing the mouth of the stream,” O’Grady said.

Work­ers used a rented ex­ca­va­tor to carry out the dredg­ing work and build the wall. The ex­ca­va­tor had be­come a fix­ture on the beach in re­cent weeks, along with other heavy equip­ment and work­ers.

Town ad­min­is­tra­tor Cyn­thia Davis said it was more fea­si­ble to rent the equip­ment from a con­trac­tor, and have a town em­ployee op­er­ate the ex­ca­va­tor. The town has spent some $7,000 on rental costs, said O’Grady.

The ma­chine was orig­i­nally rented for a month, but the town has been al­lowed to keep it for a longer pe­riod at no ex­tra charge, added O’Grady.

He pointed out leas­ing such a piece of equip­ment in the busy con­struc­tion sea­son would nor­mally run around $110 or $120 per hour, which could run into a daily cost of $1,000.

The ex­ca­va­tor was rented to carry out some ditch­ing along Pow­ell and Wil­loughby Drives on the south­side. Coun­cil also took ad­van­tage of the op­por­tu­nity to carry out the work in the beach area.

Mean­whi le, re­fer­ring to the ar­mour stone wall, O’Grady told coun­cil, “so far it’s been work­ing well.”

Deputy mayor Ches Ash again asked about the pos­si­bil­ity of hav­ing an in­de­pen­dent as­sess­ment from an en­gi­neer if coun­cil in­tends to pur­sue any fur­ther mea­sures to al­le­vi­ate the prob­lem.

O’Grady agreed: “if we’re go­ing to seek any source of govern­ment fund­ing we ( coun­cil) would need an as­sess­ment.”

Aside from the ero­sion, Ash pointed out the other is­sue is that the sea has al­ready dam­aged pri­vate prop­erty on both sides of the har­bour and is threat­en­ing to cause even fur­ther dam­age.

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