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30-year solution for shoreline erosion in Chatham-Kent

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A stretch of Talbot Trail in Chatham-Kent will now be a road less travelled.

The section between Coatsworth Road and Stevenson Road was closed in 2019 due to erosion along the Lake Erie shoreline.

Monday night, Chatham-Kent council voted 14-0 in favour of an interim solution — to build a bypass road in its place.

“It was the right decision to make, ideal in facts and science,” said Dr. John Mann.

An engineering report informed council erosion is happening at a rate of about one metre per year.

The interim solution moves the road inland beyond what administration refers to as the 30-year hazard zone — to a new bypass route — at a cost of four million dollars.

“There's a lot of emotion around this. The erosion is hard on Lakeshore residents. They're afraid. Why wouldn't they be?” said Mann.

Some of those shoreline residents turned up at council Monday to push back against the preferred bypass — noting from their vantage, erosion is happening at a much faster rate of four metres per year.

Vlasta Kamensky says based on her observations, the 30-year solution is a waste of money because it won’t last that long.

“In next eight years, if another section fails, we get to say we told you so,” said Kamensky.

She preferred the longer-term solution of enhancing and paving Concession Line 2, which is much further north of the 100 year hazard zone.

“Is it a scenic route? Do bikers love it? Yes, we all love it. The unfortunate fact is the erosion is happening whether we like it or not,” Kamensky added.

Mann, an engineer who delegated for the approved recommendation, said the 30-year solution makes the most sense.

“After 30 years, you have to reinvest in them just like as if they were brand new. So the suggestion that you know, it's a waste of $4 million to build a temporary road isn't really correct."

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