Repaving Plans At Crescent Beach Raise Concerns

Posted on Friday, September 14, 2018 09:42 AM

A community group is fighting efforts to pave a road.

Friends of Crescent Beach are concerned a plan by the Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal (TIR) to repave a stretch of road behind Crescent Beach will mean the loss of existing sand dunes.

The two-kilometre-long beach is popular amongst visitors and locals and is one of the few in the province where vehicles are permitted.

The road behind it connects the Lahave Islands to the mainland and is in poor condition.

Peter Barss with Friends of Crescent Beach says he and his group would like to see the road repaired but say government's current plan isn't acceptable.

"Because there are solutions that require scientific study and scientific knowledge, you can't just cut into these dunes five feet and expect them to survive," says Barss.

Barss wants TIR to hold off until experts can more closely look at what impact construction will have on the beach.

Meanwhile, Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal says they aren't expanding the footprint of the existing road.

But, Christina Yeadon, project coordinator with TIR, says there are some spots where dunes have crept up onto the roadway and they have to clear that before paving.

"There's some spots where actually the sand is more than half way across to the centre line of the road so there's a couple spots that you actually drive on the other side of the road to prevent driving on the sand dune."

Yeadon says they aren't doing anything to negatively impact the dunes because they provide a natural buffer, keeping the road from being washed out during storms.

TIR is looking to repair some dunes as well to keep that buffer intact.

Yeadon says the dunes provide a natural buffer that keeps the road from being washed away in storms.

TIR says they've met with Friends of Crescent Beach and there are some areas of concern beyond the road where dunes lost sand during storms and they want to help improve those.

"I'm giong to be working with them to reinforce that area and actually place some sand back to help improve the health of the dunes."

Yeadon says they will conduct some shoreline protection to try to stop further erosion.

When asked if an environmental impact study was required, she said no, as they aren't doing an expansion, just repairs.

The work is being put to public tender and the hope it to have it finished this fall.

Photo credit: Google Maps.

Story by Ed Halverson and Brittany Wentzell
Twitter: @edhalverson @BrittWentzell
Email: [email protected] [email protected]