Wharf removal cause for concern in Terrenceville
Council says wharf acts as a breakwater
With the removal of a wharf owned by Transport Canada underway in Terrenceville, residents of the community are concerned about what it could mean for the shoreline there.
“That wharf serves as a breakwater,” Deputy Mayor Verna McGrath told The Southern Gazette on Aug. 29. “We have our cemetery down on the meadow and five residences down there.”
McGrath said during a visit to the town by officials from Transport Canada, concerns were raised over the removal of the wharf, and how it would leave part of the community open to the elements.
She said in response she was told, “Their (Transport Canada) engineers did studies and it’s not going to affect the shoreline…if it did they would revisit it at a later date.”
McGrath said it’s too late to act if the houses are destroyed and the cemetery is washed out, something she said has happened in the past.
“Before that wharf went there in the ‘70s they did have a washout from a storm, and there were bodies that were washed out (to sea),” she said.
Julie Leroux, media relations with Transport Canada, told The Southern Gazette via e-mail that in 2014 the department commissioned a study to determine if the removal of the wharf would have any effect on the shoreline.
“The study concluded that the removal of the wharf will have minimal impact on the erosion of the local shoreline. The study was shared with the community,” she noted. “Transport Canada is working closely with the Town of Terrenceville on the demolition project. Transport Canada will install additional shoreline protection (boulders) on the site once the wharf is removed.”
McGrath said she trusts the wisdom of the older residents of the community rather than a study by government.
“Everyone here is saying not ‘if” but ‘when’, especially now with global warming, the storms are getting worse,” she said.
Efforts to save wharf
McGrath said leading up to the decision by Transport Canada to remove the wharf, the town had been exploring options to save it.
“They came to meet with council from Transport Canada (in) New Brunswick,” explained McGrath. “They said we (Transport Canada) or the town can take it over — we give you some money and you fix it up yourselves.”
She said the town considered their options on whether they would take over the wharf and pay a private contractor to demolish it, or if they would take over the wharf and use the money from the department to repair the wharf, “but Transport Canada would no longer be liable (for the wharf) — it was a one-shot deal,” said McGrath. “They wouldn’t fix it up anymore in 10 years…we would be responsible.”
The town held a public meeting regarding the future of the wharf, during which it was decided that the residents of the town were in favor of the town taking ownership of the wharf.
See GATHERING, Page 12
The crew demolishing the wharf in Terrenceville. Council had been speaking with Transport Canada in an effort to save the wharf but were unsuccessful in their attempt.