Ice damage to the Bluewater Ferry causeway. Jan 2018, BlackburnNews.com photo by Sue Storr.

Bluewater Ferry Could Reopen By Spring

A quick and coordinated effort is essential for Sombra’s Bluewater Ferry to re-open this spring.

Sarnia-Lambton MP Marilyn Gladu says engineers provided a few rebuilding options during a meeting Wednesday, but one estimated to cost as much as $2.5-million really stood out.

“The one to get the crossing reinstated most expediently is one that will use already engineered CSP [corrugated steel pipe] culverts and it would have to be done before March 15,” says Gladu. “After that there is a fish spawning outage and you can’t do any construction in the river until July.”

Gladu says engineers believe the work can be done in that short time frame.

“The culverts allow flow underneath them and in worst case scenario the ice would go over top of the new structure,” she says. “So it will be able to survive if there is additional ice buildup.”

Gladu says they’ve forwarded the recommendation and cost to Transport Minister Marc Garneau and Fisheries Minister Dominic LeBlanc.

“If the government can’t provide funding, this is not going to happen and we would permanently lose that border crossing,” she says. “We will be waiting for the government to show some leadership and come with a fix.”

Gladu says representatives from the provincial government have also been contacted.

She’s asked for an immediate response from the ministers and has made it clear a response is required, in writing, by January 31 to move forward.

St. Clair River ice extensively damaged the raised road leading to the ferry dock and Canada Customs office last Thursday and the entire causeway gave way a few days later.