Municipality to block vehicle access to piers


By Barb McKay

Safety measures are being implemented at Kincardine’s north and south piers.

Municipality of Kincardine parks and recreation director Karen Kieffer presented a report to council during its meeting last Wednesday with recommendations to limit access to the piers. A committee was formed to look at options following an incident in January where a man drowned when his pickup truck slipped off the north pier and into the lake.

In a letter to Kincardine council in July, the regional supervising coroner reported that the investigation into that death determined that there is easy access to the north pier from the bottom of Harbour Street and some type of barrier should be put up to prevent vehicles from accessing it.

Kieffer said the committee is recommending that three removal posts, each four inches wide, be installed at the entrance to the north pier. She explained that the poles would need to be removable so that the fire department and Coast Guard could still access the pier for training exercises. Municipal staff would remove the posts after receiving notice of an exercise. In the event of an emergency, the chain locking the posts in place could be cut by emergency responders.

At the south pier, the recommendation is to install a large boulder, adding to the two that are already near the shoreline, to prevent vehicles from accessing that pier.

Councillor Laura Haight asked if cutting off access to the south pier would create a problem for emergency responders if there was a boating accident or another type of emergency where someone was injured. Fire chief Kent Padfield said that emergency vehicles cannot go too far out on the south pier because they are unable to turn around. In the event of an emergency, responders would carry an injured person from the pier to an ambulance.

Council agreed to implement the safety measures at both piers. Kieffer said the public works staff would be able to do the work themselves and hope to have it completed before winter. The estimated cost is $6,000.