Monk's Cove work begins immediately

by Cecilia Nasmith

With the approval of funds to repair the Monk's Cove retaining wall at Monday's council meeting, the Town of Cobourg has announced that work is to begin this week.

The construction contract has been awarded, and the contractor is expected to be on site before the weekend.

In the spring of 2017, the retaining wall along the Lake Ontario shoreline at Monk's Cove (at Cobourg's west end) began to show signs of severe erosion due to high water levels and wave action. The town notified the residents of that area of the unsafe conditions, and installed a safety fence along the top of the wall to warn people away. It has been in place since, to remain until a plan and budget could be readied for its repair.

The Ganaraska Region Conservation Authority applied to the Water and Erosion Control Infrastructure program through the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry for funding on behalf of the town so the wall could be repaired. Unfortunately, as there was so much damage from high water levels in 2017 throughout the province, this project was not deemed significant enough to qualify.

On April 16, the town procured the services of a coastal engineering consultant to conduct an assessment of the retaining-wall damage and prepare the design of a repair that would enable the town to request construction bids.

On May 31, the town received the final version of the design and requested contractor quotations.

With funds now available following the council vote on July 3, the construction contract can be awarded immediately.

Essentially, the work will restore the existing wall by restacking the armour stone, installing an erosion-control blanket and backfilling the wall up to the existing grades, the town's press release listed.

“We expect the contractor to mobilize to the site within 48 hours of award and expect to be completed within one week, weather permitting,” it said.

“Topsoil and sod installation will follow. Once the repair has been completed, the safety fence will be removed.”

Historically, the existing wall design was a sufficient retaining structure for a time when water levels were lower. The consultant who inspected the wall recommended its ultimate replacement with a revetment structure – a sloped wall that is more capable of withstanding today's higher water levels and absorbing wave action.

A rough estimate for the full replacement is estimated at $2-million, including design, approvals, construction, contingencies, inspection and taxes. The town will continue to explore funding opportunities for the design and construction of this project.

For questions pertaining to the Monk's Cove retaining wall, contact the town's public-works division at 905-372-9971.