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Shoreline protection about to begin in Bright’s Grove

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Troy Shantz & George Mathewson

Work to secure the public shoreline in Bright’s Grove will begin in a few weeks, the first tangible sign of Sarnia’s new 10-year, $25-million plan to slow Lake Huron’s advance.

Three tenders have been awarded at a total cost of $4.7 million. Two sections of lakefront between Helen Avenue and Kenwick Streets are to be secured, as well as a stretch of Old Lakeshore Road in front of Marion Avenue.

Construction will begin in February, city engineering director David Jackson says in a new report. He was scheduled to update council on the shoreline strategy Monday.

Initial construction will see sloped stone revetments added to immediately secure the bank.

Groynes, which extend into the lake from shore and allow new beach to build up, require federal permits that won’t likely be approved until late 2020, Jackson notes in the report.

A combination of revetments and steel or stone groynes spaced to support beach development is the approach recommended by the St. Clair Conservation Authority and coastal engineers.

If Sarnia does nothing, it risks losing public lakefront land, recreational trails, watermains, sewers and other infrastructure, the report states.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is predicting Lake Huron water levels will reach an all-time high this year.

More than $1 million was spent last year on temporary, emergency shoreline repairs, mostly in Bright’s Grove.

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