High water levels cause nearly $700K in erosion damage to Wolfe Island winter ferry terminal

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WATCH: MTO is assessing erosion damage in numerous Ontario locations – Jun 25, 2019

If you take the scenic drive out to Wolfe Island’s Dawson Point, you’ll see a fair amount of activity at the Ministry of Transportation winter ferry terminal.

According to MTO contracts engineer Don Rowat, a contractor is on site to deal with erosion issues caused by this year’s record high water levels.

“With that high water and the waves, it certainly took a lot of that material away,” Rowat said, “such that we had to get this contractor in here on an emergency basis.”

READ MORE: Residents along Lake Ontario and St. Lawrence River prepare for flooding

Rowat says the ministry has been monitoring all areas in the province where flooding has been an issue.

“Even up in the Pembroke, Petawawa area where the high waters went through, we have to go back and assess and make sure there was no damage from the high water.”

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Fixing the erosion at the Wolfe Island dock, Rowat said, will cost $699,000.

WATCH: (June 6) Wolfe Island residents dealing with harsh spring flood

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Wolfe Island residents dealing with harsh spring flood – Jun 6, 2019

Meanwhile, large limestone rocks weighing between one and five tonnes are being used to shore up the terminal’s shoreline, protecting it from future erosion. The rocks are being brought over to the island by barge.

MTO communications officer Brandy Duhaime says the barges will save residents from having to deal with the noise and dust of trucks hauling the stones.

“It actually helps to not impact ferry users and the spots on the ferry,” Duhaime said.

READ MORE: City of Kingston closes portion of waterfront trail due to high water levels

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Each load, being ferried by two barges, is about 300 tonnes, and 2,200 tonnes are needed to complete the work.

Rowat says the stones are driven from a quarry in the Ottawa area, then loaded onto a barge at a marina in the Thousand Islands.

“Then they are unloading it in the evening so it’s ready to go the next morning so they can keep the constant flow of rocks going.”

That ongoing supply of limestone without interruption will help the contractor meet the two-week deadline to complete the repairs.