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.