It started with the dirt. Removal of the very visible pile of contaminated soil that was stored under tarps at the Centre Pier was the first step in the cleanup at the Port Hope Harbour. This step set in motion the long-awaited and highly anticipated waterfront development, with the removal of the waste being a critical component.
Approximately 2,000 truckloads of soil was transported away from the Centre Pier to the newly built mound for long-term storage ending in September 2018. This cleared the way for the demolition of the buildings on the pier. As the next step in the process, the removal of the buildings allowed for space on the Centre Pier to be used as the staging area for sediment containment tubes during the dredging. After the clean-up is completed, the Centre Pier will be turned over to the Municipality of Port Hope for their use.
With the fish-out of the harbour completed, the first of two wave attenuators installed, a bathymetry survey of the bottom of the harbor was performed. This allowed the team to take a closer look at what was in the harbour, reducing the element of surprise when the dredging begins later in 2019. While high water levels affected the work in the harbour in this construction season, there was opportunity to work on the temporary shoring and bracing of the existing harbour walls.
“We knew going in that the walls were in poor condition and the experience of the collapse of the west wall last year reinforced the need to do work on the walls ahead of dredging,” said Sam Diamond, Project Coordinator.
Work in this construction season has included some type of shoring to all the walls. On the north and south side, (pipe) pilings were installed to protect the timber crib structure that is currently there. On the west wall, which had a section that had previously collapsed, the installation of a grout curtain is being performed to prevent water seepage underneath the new combi wall when it is built.
Installation of pilings on the Queen’s Wharf also started this year, although completion of that work has been postponed as result of the high water levels experienced in the area. The shoring in that area will include drilling pipe piles against the existing wall along the wharf, which will continue once the waters recede to avoid underwater drilling.
Additional work for the 2019 season includes the installation of the second wave attenuator from the end of the Centre Pier, to prevent wave action, and construction of a staging area on the Centre Pier.
“Before we can start dredging, we will also start the harbour wall remediation on the north and south walls of the turning basin and remove any obstacles in the harbour. We anticipate starting the dredging of the turning basin this fall,” added Diamond.
All work in water is affected by weather, permitting by regulatory agencies and other exigencies. Work is expected to continue until December or January or until the weather makes it difficult to continue.
As a reminder, access to the Centre Pier and the harbour is restricted until the cleanup ends, expected in the next five years.