Now that warmer weather has arrived, the repair bills are coming in from what was occasionally a very bad winter. Ontario's Niagara Parks Commission is dealing with the cost of repairs of a Fort Erie sea wall from the February ice storm.
The damaged section of sea wall runs along the curve of land where Lake Erie turns into the Niagara River, savagely assaulted by wind and water and massive ice piles during that Feb. 24 storm. Around 800' of the wall requires major repairs.
Parks Commission CEO David Adames told WBFO the current estimate for repairing that section is well over $500,000 U.S. dollars and will not be completed until some time in the fall.
"Wind conditions, high water level. The day back at the end of February, Feb. 24, there was about 100 kilometer-an-hour winds, or 60 mile-an-hour wind, and it was coming right in that direction of where that breakwall," Adames said, "and to see the video evidence of the ice moving and coming right up and piling up. At some of the heights, we had ice as high as 30'-35'."
Adames said Buffalo commuters can see where the repairs will take place.
"The section, essentially between the Peace Bridge and Old Fort Erie, and most of it closer to the Peace Bridge side," Adames said. "If you know Mather Arch, the parkway there, the park again between the Peace Bridge and Old Fort Erie, most of the damage was directly opposite Mather Arch Park."
Adames said the commission has miles of stone wall it maintains. That is why it has stone masons on staff for repairs, although the repairs for this year are going to cost a lot more than expected and require bringing in outside masons.
He said there was repair money budgeted for an aging section of wall, but not what winter cost. It is going to require a massive effort in stone and concrete.
"It's going to be probably a combination of some armor rock in the shoreline area, where we can, then doing the concrete and stone work along the breakwall itself," he said.