GORE BAY—With funding having been provided previously, and with approvals from the Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Parks (MECP), the long-awaited repairs of the Gore Bay boardwalk have started.
“We received funding from the government this past spring and applied for the permit for the work to be done,” said Stasia Carr, clerk for the Town of Gore Bay. “We needed approval for the work to be done from the Species at Risk (SAR) of (MECP). At that time SAR indicated they had a backlog of 300 applications to go through for consideration of approval.”
Having not received a timely response from the MECP on the permit, an emergency meeting was held this past August with the town, its engineers (Tulloch) and the ministry and a mitigation measures plan was presented by the engineers, assuming Blanding’s turtles are present in the boardwalk area but would be protected (fencing). The plan was approved earlier this month and the work on the boardwalk began mid-October, said Ms. Carr. “It was in the ministry hands, and until we received their permit approving the mitigation plan, we couldn’t go ahead.”
“There has been a lot of public interest in this project, but as we have said previously, we couldn’t proceed with the work until we had the work permit.” She pointed out the town had received funding for the project FedNor and the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation NOHFC for this and other projects.
Gore Bay received funding to upgrade its waterfront and boardwalk to attract more tourists and, in turn, increase spending at local businesses. Specifically, the funding was to be used to construct two bridges on the boardwalk, pave the front parking lot of the Harbour Centre, an arts incubator and museum hub, landscape the shoreline and install educational signage, flooring and install a chairlift to enhance accessibility into the centre’s third-floor museum.
For the boardwalk, town council decided to go with option one; the board that crosses the creeks could be replaced completely from end to end with a helical pile system.
Several different tenders have been let for this; Tulloch Engineering, Pier Pressure with local contractor Andrew Preyde, with cement provided by McCann Concrete. The helical piles were to be drilled last week, with all of the work to be done this fall, prior to the winter season
The shoreline work was carried out by H and R Noble Construction and several local contractors, while Beamish will be carrying out the Harbour Centre parking lot paving project this fall. A Toronto based company which specializes in commercial chairlifts, will be installing this structure in the harbour centre. And advertising for tenders for flooring have just gone out for bid.