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Lake Huron shoreline project in Bright’s Grove delayed

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Troy Shantz

One of three Bright’s Grove shoreline projects meant to prevent Old Lakeshore Road from falling into Lake Huron wasn’t done this year and must be retendered.

A contract for the stabilization work at the foot of Helen Avenue was terminated after the contractor and city failed to agree on additional costs and other changes, said city construction manager Rob Williams.

Shoreline protection is normally done during the winter months when crews and equipment can work from the lake’s shore ice. But Huron had little to no ice this past winter, which has resulted in delays and additional expenses.

“The contractor just really wasn’t comfortable with the change, and we couldn’t agree on cost,” Williams said.

The job will be retendered in coming weeks and will cover the possibility of crews and equipment working from a temporary platform or barge, he said.

All of shoreline work was halted for the regulated fish-spawning season, from March 15 to July 15. And for the rest of the summer and fall, the Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada and Ministry of Natural Resources has required additional mitigation measures.

The cost of a second project at the foot of Marion Avenue increased by $300,000 after Ottawa ordered contractors to work from a temporary platform or barge, the city said.

That contractor ironed out new terms with the city and hopes to complete the job from a rock platform by the end of the year, Williams said.

The third section, along Old Lakeshore Road near Kenwick Street, is nearing completion.

City council budgets $2.25 million for Bright’s Grove shoreline stabilization this year. Staff is preparing an aggressive budget for more work in 2021, Williams said.

Up next is a battered stretch of Old Lakeshore between Penhuron Drive and Pine Avenue, which has been the scene of recent emergency repairs.

Groynes made of armour stone that jut out into the lake perpendicular to the shore are being eyed for sections west of Mike Weir Beach as well, Williams said.

“There’s a lot of work to do, so sometimes it’s kind of hard to prioritize.”

The work is part of Sarnia’s 10-year, $25-million plan to slow Lake Huron’s advance. The initial construction involves fitting sloped stone revetments to protect the bank against wave erosion.

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