Talbot Trail remains closed as solutions sought
Published Monday, August 26, 2019 3:12PM EDT
While the province is planning to upgrade Highway 3 from Essex to Leamington, a section of Talbot Trail in Chatham-Kent remains closed.
Officials blocked the road after erosion from Lake Erie compromised the structural integrity of Talbot Trail. The question remains how long will the closure last?
Nearly four kilometres of Talbot Trail has been closed since July 10.
Record high water levels on Lake Erie get the blame.
"The lake is getting really close to my house and we're quite concerned about that," one man says.
"You wonder whether the next storm is going to take more away and eventually the house. Obviously if it's too dangerous for trucks to drive down that close to the lake obviously it's too dangerous for people living here as well."
Chatham-Kent-Leamington MPP Rick Nicholls concedes it’s a major problem.
He says he’s had discussions with both the Lower Thames Valley Conservation Authority and the Essex Region Conservation Authority, but a solution takes time.
"We are looking at other options to re-route the traffic," Nicholls says.
The closed-off section of Talbot Trail has no homes, but it’s still affected businesses.
"We're worried that down the road, the golf course might be right on the lake and that's not really something we want," says Caleb Pratt, general manager of the Talbot Trail Golf Club.
He says the detour takes people nearly 20 minutes away.
"It's really been a bit of a nuisance but definitely something we're trying to improve on as we go along here," he says.
Chatham-Kent councillor Melissa Harrigan says cracks in the road are developing again.
"We are looking at coming up with short-term and long-term solutions for that road because Talbot Trail is a very active road," she says.
"Where that road is on Talbot Trail, current studies predict that that road will not be there within my lifetime."
A report on Talbot Trail will come before council in December. The area will be part of the year-long study on shoreline erosion.