By Joel Wittnebel/The Oshawa Express
The pier jutting into Lake Ontario from the Lakeview Park beach remains closed as the full extent of the damage due to high water levels remains unknown.
The city previously advised residents that due to the water levels receding at a slower rate than expected, the pier remained closed. The dangerously high water levels first forced the closure of the pier back in May. However, on July 31, the city reopened the pier for public use.
The wet weather through the spring and early summer months pushed the levels of Lake Ontario to the highest they’ve been in recorded history.
According to numbers from the Central Lake Ontario Conservation Authority (CLOCA) in May, the Oshawa area received about 200 per cent more than the normal amount of rain for that month.
The high water levels have caused significant erosion along the lakefront, which the city estimates will cost thousands of dollars.
In June, a preliminary report notes that $12,000 has already been paid out in resources and extra staff time to deal with the heavy rains and flooding around Oshawa. However, that number could increase when the water begins to recede and the true scope of the damage comes to light.
This is of most concern when it comes to the pier as the city fears the water has eaten away at the foundation.
“The force of the waves and the turbulent water washed away the foundation below the interlock paving stones creating large cavities and voids on the walkways to the pier,” the report states. “It is feared that this action is taking place through openings and cracks in the concrete breakwall below the waterline.”
The full extent of the damage will not be known until the water levels recede, but city staff estimate that costs to repair the pier could be as high as $225,000. The high water levels have also caused damage to fencing along the Lakeview Park beach, which could cost as much as $65,000 to repair and the erosion of the beach will require additional sand and re-grading at a cost of approximately $30,000.