Completion Of Centennial Park Remediation Delayed Again

Centennial Park. August 25, 2016 photo by Sue Storr

Completion of the Centennial Park remediation and reconstruction project has been delayed yet again.

The latest in a series of extensions sets a date of May 26, 2017 for completion of the first stage, and June 2, 2017 for the final stage.

The initial $8-million cost has escalated to $11-million due to a number of unplanned issues including deterioration of the entire sanitary sewer servicing Seaway Rd. and Harbour Rd.

City of Sarnia Operations Manager Brian Prouse says they’re having difficulties with construction of a new boat launch.

“The soil quality there has been very difficult to manage, and the control of the water, which is required as part of the construction of the boat ramp, has been a major difficulty,” says Prouse. “Three attempts have been made to control the water and all three have been unsuccessful.”

Prouse says the new timetable is very weather dependent. The existing boat ramp has been removed and accommodations have been made with Bridgeview Marina for access until the new launch is complete.

“We’re hoping to be on site no later than April 1, with the completion of everything by June 2 but it is very weather dependent,” he says. “If we have a severe winter, or very wet spring, it will impact the timing of when the contractor can get back on the land and do the appropriate work.”

The contractor will continue to work through the winter months on renovations to the Dow People Place, completion of seawall construction and capping of the main park site.

After previous setbacks, the popular riverfront park was expected to fully re-open to the public by the end of November, 2016.

Much of it has been closed since the discovery of asbestos and other contaminants in the soil in May 2013.

Veteran Sarnia councillor Dave Boushy says he remains very concerned about further delays and the escalating cost.

“5-million, 8-million, 9-million, 11-million, I mean that’s taxpayers’ money and I’m concerned about that,” says Boushy. “And it’s more about how Centennial Park looks now, what became of it.”