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Oct. 21, 2021 | Thursday
Local News
Shoreline protection underway between Delater Street and River Beach Drive
R&M Construction hauling armour stones for shoreline protection along Delater Street. (Brittany Carter/Niagara Now)

Shoreline restoration is underway for the area between 25 Delater St. and 85 River Beach Dr.

As outlined in the Nov. 27, 2018 public information meeting, the shoreline is eroding, and the historic culvert is vulnerable to further damage. The project was scheduled to begin Jan. 23, 2019 but due to weather conditions was stalled and began Jan. 28.

After Shoreplan Engineering designed and presented several options, which were peer-reviewed by Coldwater Construction, the decision was made to install a headland/beach system. The plan includes a cobble beach at the east end of the park with stone walls surrounding the outfall. A boulder berm, a raised barrier created with boulders, is to be placed along the west side.

Ron Simkus, retired engineer and NOTL resident, said he has been asking the town to get started on the project for a while. Time is of the essence, he said, adding that under regulations by the ministry of fisheries and oceans and the ministry of natural resources, work can’t be done on the shoreline after the middle of March. The work must be completed by then because the fish begin to spawn.

Simkus said the shoreline has been vulnerable for years, but it was prevalent after 2017. The storms developing from the east had an impact, eroding the shore quickly.

“In 2017 it was really exaggerated because the level of the lake was at a record high. The waves coming with the storms took massive pieces of the shoreline away.” Sandbags and pumps were needed to control the situation, he said, which was costly. He said he has been campaigning since then to invest money to prevent an emergency in the future.

Armour stones are being placed along the shore between River Beach Drive and the old railway culvert.

Due to the March restriction, he said the work had to start now. Simkus said while they can’t be predicted, the events are likely to occur more frequently in upcoming years.

“The federal government and the international joint commission who manage the lakes, recommend all municipalities prepare for more high-level activity seasonally and preparing the shore accordingly. There’s not much they can do to stop climate change. Live with it and adjust accordingly.”

Living next to the shoreline, Simkus has a direct view of the work being completed. While a bit loud and disruptive, he said it doesn’t bother him too much. Aside from shaking the foundation a bit, it is important that the work be completed.

It is expected to take two weeks to complete.