It may look like they are playing in the sand, but heavy equipment working in the inner west basin of Cobourg Harbour is actually accomplishing much needed work.
Assistant Manager of Waterfront Operations Julie Behan-Jones said that with the low water level of 2021, heavy equipment was brought in to remove the top layer of sand so the dredger can get access to achieve depth.
An engineering company is currently working on a design to remediate the harbour walls. The issue of silting of the harbour basin will also be considered in that design. Currently sand comes in the mouth of the harbour and over the damaged west breakwater of the west pier but has no way of exiting the inner harbour Behan-Jones explained.
“The sand does not have a route of exit as it did at one time many years ago.”
“All these factors are being taken into consideration for repairing the harbour infrastructure. Currently the equipment and the dredge are teaming up to try and get some depth in the harbour basin.”
One of the issues with the silting in is that the water is moving west and derooting some of the trees along the west arm. The machinery is currently removing the sand from the harbour and depositing it along the shoreline to build up the grade of the beach.
“The reason we have heavy equipment is that the dredge works like a vacuum and needs access to get over the sand. But because there is very little to no-depth in some areas the machinery is required.”
Town staff are working within the guidelines and permitting of all governing bodies and within consultation of them.
Behan-Jones said at this point there is enough depth around the boat launch and docks for boats.
“This depth issue will really impact the water front user groups if we don’t get it rectified.” “With this work, we are doing a service to be inclusive of all users groups.”