Preferred fix for Rose Beach Line area pegged at $7.8M

Municipal staff are estimating it could cost nearly $7.8 million for the recommended fix for the erosion-ravaged Rose Beach Line area.

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Municipal staff are estimating it could cost nearly $7.8 million for the recommended fix for the erosion-ravaged Rose Beach Line area.

The report on one of Chatham-Kent’s most scenic routes, located near Morpeth, is slated to come to council Monday night for information purposes.

The preferred alternative includes the closing of Rose Beach Line between Antrim Road and west of Wildwood on the Lake; building a new private laneway to provide access to residents adjacent to the failure site; and future upgrades to New Scotland Line to accommodate added traffic directed away from Rose Beach Line.

“Closing Rose Beach Line and constructing private driveway access behind the existing properties will ensure the properties can be accessed for the longest amount of time possible (over 25 years),” stated the report, released online Thursday.

It’s been a long road for the issue, with public input sought back in 2017 to address the problems and possible solutions.

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In 2018, the stretch of Rose Beach Line over South Marsh Creek was closed due to slope and bank failure.

However, the environmental assessment process was put on hold until the Chatham-Kent shoreline study was completed to allow for a better understanding of the entire Lake Erie shoreline erosion causes and potential mitigation strategies.

Because of the study’s findings, released in May of last year, along with the continuing degradation of the existing slope, the previously recommended solution is no longer viable, the report added.

Three new alternatives were developed and evaluated alongside the original measures. These were presented during virtual public information sessions this past December and January.

AECOM, which conducted the environmental assessment, collected and addressed comments and concerns until this past May, when the notice of completion was accepted by the Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Parks.

“Previous attempts to provide protection to the slope, including the placement of rock and concrete rubble along the slope, have not been successful,” the report stated. “Degradation to the slope has continued to occur as evidenced by tree tilting, undercutting, over-steepening of the Lake Erie bluff and implementation of emergency road closure measures.”

This section also contains municipal water and sanitary sewer infrastructure that is currently being relocated due to the slope failure.

The costs associated with the private laneway will be addressed in reports to council this year. The remainder will be included in the 2022 municipal capital plan for future consideration, which will depend on the rate of erosion and subject to council prioritization.

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