Shoreline stabilization project necessary to prevent further erosion


By Barb McKay

A project to preserve the shoreline along Macpherson Park in Kincardine is progressing well and is expected to be completed on time and on budget.

Municipality of Kincardine public works director Adam Weishar provided The Independent with an update on the project last week and said the municipality is pleased with the work by the contractor, Moorefield Excavating Ltd., thus far. The placement of armour stone along the shoreline from the north pier to the washrooms at Dunsmoor Park is more than one third of the way complete and on track to be finished by the end of February or early March.

Weishar said the work is necessary to prevent future erosion along the shoreline north of the north pier. The exposed embankment was unsightly and a steep drop between of the park and beach created by erosion was hazardous.

“We are excited about revitalizing the waterfront,” Weishar said. “It would have been a shame to let it erode further.”

The north shoreline stabilization project was approved by municipal council last year after a significant portion of beachfront along Macpherson Park eroded the year prior – so much so that the Kincardine Lions Club was forced to remove a 150-foot section of its boardwalk to prevent it from being washed away. At that time, Kincardine staff approached engineers from B.M. Ross and Associates for a solution. The firm provided the municipality with a conceptual plan that involved using armour stones to stabilize the bank and prevent further erosion.

Weishar said B.M. Ross recommended using armour stone after researching a number of materials and learning that other municipalities have had success with similar shoreline stabilization projects, including in St. Clair Township and the Scarborough Bluffs. A layer of rip rap (stone particles) was laid first along the embankment to provide a stable foundation for the armour stones. The stones are being arranged with the larger stones on the bottom and smaller stones at the top of the embankment, in such a way to reduce the impact from wave action. Weishar said the municipality is requesting a selective supply of stone to make the completed project more aesthetically pleasing. If weed growth occurs with naturalization of the area over time, it will be addressed.

The Saugeen Valley Conservation Authority also requires stones to be placed against the north pier to protect the wall against deterioration. A few stones are being selectively placed north of Dunsmoor Park near the water treatment facility where there are signs that erosion is starting to occur.

Weishar said engineers and staff are looking at areas along the stretch of shoreline where the stone is being installed, including at the flagpole, to create pedestrian walkways down to the beach using strategically placed stones. If that is not possible, stairways will be created.

“We are striving to maintain egress there and we will come up with a solution to achieve that,” he said.

As well, he stressed that the stone will not exceed the top of the embankment and sightlines of the lake will be maintained.

“That is not only important to the people who live here but to visitors as well.”

Weishar confirmed that once construction is completed the portion of the boardwalk that was removed will be re-installed.