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waterfront 560The phasing in of improvements at Port Elgin Main Beach waterfront.

Hub Staff

A three-year plan for Port Elgin’s Main Beach waterfront was presented to Saugeen Shores councillors during an information report by Director of Community Services Jayne Jagelewski, at the Committee of the Whole March 27.

Town staff, along with the previous Waterfront Advisory Committee, have developed a phase-in priority list based on recommendations from EDA Collaborative Inc.’s 2014 Port Elgin Waterfront Design Concept and Budget Allotment. The report said that EDA Collaborative Inc. identified that the Port Elgin Main Beach should be considered as the showpiece of the community, could be an attraction during all seasons and is in need of a complete “makeover”.

Phase 1 of the Port Elgin Main Beach Waterfront would begin with the Beach House which was presented to Council in January. Since the tender went public, 18 contractors have attended on-site meetings and a recommendation report will be given to Council on April 10.

Jagelewski said that if all was approved the Beach House would be completed mid July, 2017.

The second part of Phase 1 would see intersection improvements during the fall of 2017 to assist with diversion of storm water erosion.

Phase 2 would be implemented in the fall of 2017 at the cost of $450,000 and would see an extension of the interlocking brick promenade from the Beach House to Izzard Road with dune grass planted alongside the promenade to reduce sand migration and erosion control during high water levels. New lighting would be erected and drainage elements included.

When asked by Councillor Mike Myatt about the accessible wooden walkway created by the construction students at Saugeen District Secondary School, Jagelewski said that it could be relocated to other areas along the beach.

The status of Phase 3 through 5 is pending on 2018-2020 budget approval but the recommendations include Harbour Street parking additions, a sewer project in collaboration with Public Works, enhanced parking facilities, curbing and drainage; a parking lot adjacent to the Harbour office and enhancements to active transportation and gathering areas. Consideration would also be made to include a commercial delivery zone, overall parking lot enhancements as well as vehicle flow and sand erosion mitigation.

“We need to reclaim some of the beach space back which is currently right now being utilized by vehicles,” said Jagelewski who stated that staff is not considering adding additional parking, but will instead focus on educating the public to utilize the trolley to access beach access points as well as modes of active transportation. The Beach House would be partially constructed on current parking spaces, so as not to take up towel space.

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