There was no peace for Sarnia’s lakefront over the holidays.
Contractors will be back at it Monday doing more emergency repairs to the crumbling Lake Huron shoreline in Bright’s Grove.
The city has hired Van Bree Drainage and Bulldozing to use armour stone to reinforce and protect sections of Old Lakeshore Road and the wave-battered shoreline near the mouth of the Cull Drain.
Repairs were done recently near Marion Street, but more are needed because the steel retaining wall there has rotted out.
The bank behind it, which supports Old Lakeshore Road, is at risk of sudden collapse, said city construction manager Robert Williams.
“Once you do see a failure in a wall the erosion that occurs behind the wall can be quick. It’s hard to predict,” he said.
Severe erosion is also occurring at the Jamieson Farm adjacent the Cull Drain. Additional repairs will be done next week to an area that’s been washed out and patched up repeatedly in recent year.
Structural failures are occurring up and down the four-kilometre stretch of shore between Rainbow Cove and Cow Creek in Bright’s Grove. Erosion caused by high water levels and north winds has eaten into the shore in at least nine different places.
Van Bree will also do maintenance to recent repairs at Christina Street Beach, and to the walled outlet of Cow Creek, where ground settlement is occurring.
Williams said most of the temporary fixes are holding.
“But I do want to make sure people understand that they aren’t permanent, and they are susceptible to the movement of the lake,” he said.
Draft proposals for long-term engineered solutions are underway for Blackwell Beach, Christina Street Beach, and Rainbow Cove, Williams added, while plans for the area between Helen and Kenwick streets are ready to go.
The Engineering Department has asked for $600,000 for shoreline protection in the 2019 budget, with most of it directed to long-term solutions, Williams said.
But the permanent projects are hard to plan for when money is consumed by emergency repairs up and down the coast, he added.
“I think our original ask was a million (dollars). It is what it is. We have a lot of needs everywhere else and all of our assets are struggling.”
A recent staff report estimated Sarnia needs $32 million worth of shoreline protection, with most of it in Bright’s Grove.