Canada: Expansion Work Starts on Goderich Harbour

Goderich Harbour in Expansion Mode

Work began this week on a $2.09 million project to improve the north pier at Goderich’s harbour.

It’s an investment in one of Goderich’s greatest assets; the deep water port. It’s part of the strategy to bring it up to a high quality port to hopefully attract new cargoes,” said Rowland Howe, president of Goderich Port Management Corporation (GPMC), which has contracted the work to Finnbilt General Contractors Ltd. of Stratford.

The contractors will extend the quay, form and pour concrete, raise bollards used to tie off boats, and finish with an asphalt top graded to improve drainage and prevent water from pooling.

The project will generally raise the pier to meet future lake levels.

Work will be intermittent, grinding to a halt or moving to the west end when boats are docked on the north pier in order to protect workers in the event there’s a break in the cables that tie down the boats.

The contract between Finnbilt and the port corporation ensures boats coming in to the harbour are given priority.

At the same time, rocks will be ferried to the north breakwall to create a dynamic berm that will help to protect the inner harbour from wave action.

Howe said they weren’t expecting the north pier to close until after the Easter weekend, but now it will remain closed to the public and construction signs posted until the end of construction, which is schedule for November 2013.

When it’s a construction site, the public will be excluded. It’s just a requirement basically because they’re going to be digging up the actual deck of the pier,” Howe said.

This work is part of a 15-year plan to restore the harbour that includes improving the breakwalls, improve piers, and infill and expand the harbour. It is funded by users’ fees collected by GPMC.

When the port was acquired from the federal government in 1999, it was identified that a lot of work needed to be done to bring it up to a decent standard. There had been a lack of investment,” Howe said.

Last year, Finnbilt completed a $900,000 upgrade at the south pier, reinforcing the pier’s surface, creating a four-foot barrier with an inset wave pattern, building a wheelchair accessible walkway along its south side, providing stairs to a narrow walkway to the south of the barrier and installing LED lighting.

The work is part of the $47-million harbour improvement project, with funding from GPMC, the provincial government and Compass Minerals.

A substantial part of the project will be the future infilling of about 14 acres off the north harbour to expand the wharf.


Press Release, April 7, 2014