Port Elgin Beach Break Wall To Close

The break wall protecting the Port Elgin beach from Lake Huron. (Photo by Jordan Mackinnon)

The Labour Day long weekend will be the last chance for the time being for swimmers to dive off the break wall at the Port Elgin beach.

The federally-owned break wall that protects the beach and harbour will be closed to the public after the long weekend, as the Department of Fisheries and Oceans begins an engineering assessment of the concrete structure, which is popular with swimmers as well as pedestrians for the unobstructed views of Lake Huron’s sunsets.

Saugeen Shores Director of Community Services Jayne Jagelewski says the break wall has been deteriorating in recent years, pointing out there are sections where the concrete has eroded to the point that rebar has been exposed.

She says the DFO has ordered both north and south sections closed during the assessment.

“During that process, the breakwater is going to be closed, so after Labour Day weekend, what the public is going to start to see is a fence going up and an explanation of why the fence is going up,” says Jagelewski.

She says DFO has not provided a timeline for the assessment, though it’s expected to be completed by next spring, adding they will share their findings and next steps with council at that point.

Jagelewski adds because the break wall is federally-owned, it’s entirely up to DFO to decide if and when the break wall will re-open to the public.

Rebar exposed by erosion of the Port Elgin break wall. (Photo by Jordan Mackinnon)

Erosion has washed sections of the concrete walkway into Lake Huron. (Photo by Jordan Mackinnon)