The Port Elgin Breakwater will undergo a revitalization project, set to begin this fall on the South Breakwater and South Breakwater Extension (Harbour portion).
The breakwater which is owned by the Department and Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) was closed to the public since 2017 due to deterioration, risk and liability.
Director of Community Services, Jayne Jagelewski says the government has come through with funds for the project, however, the breakwater was never meant to be a usable walkway, extra funds (no greater than $700,000 ) from council’s Future Capital Reserve fund has been tabled ahead of next years budget to secure the accessible walking space be built.
Jagelewski says, "it was built as a safe heaven, it was never constructed and engineered for pedestrian access."
"We have expressed desire for the breakwater to be a pedestrian walkway for individuals to enjoy."
She says through the reconstruction there is the opportunity to increase the height of the breakwater because of the rising water levels, accessible ramps will be constructed and the sidewalk would be expanded.
The DFO will organize the tender process and pick a contractor to begin this fall. The DFO has also assured the Town the reconstruction project will not impact harbour operations.
"Individuals will see a lot of work," says Jagelewski. She adds there will be a staging area in the parking lot and barges in the water working with sheet piling, to construct it.
The DFO is also aware of the potential major capital project on the Main Beach that could begin this fall and has assured the Town there will be two separate staging areas for both projects.