Repairs underway, but resident still calling for permanent fix

Frank Gale
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A section of the Fox Island River road, which was destroyed by pounding waves on Wednesday, is seen here Thursday morning with rippled pavement and a heavily damaged armour stone barrier.

FOX ISLAND RIVER  Even as trucks were dropping new armour stone into a barrier at the side of Fox Island River road on Thursday, Yve LeRoy continued to call for a permanent fix.

Waves crashing into an armour stone wall, the only barrier between Port au Port Bay and the road in the community, eroded a section of the barrier and rippled the pavement beyond on Wednesday.

LeRoy said dumping stone there is only a Band-Aid fix, and patching it up again is not going to last as the high moon tides — during which most damage is done — have only just started.

He has been advocating for a proper barrier between Port au Port Bay and the road in the community, and says that can only be attained by first digging a trench before placing the armour stone rocks there. LeRoy said there was a time when a frozen seawall would prevent these events from occurring, but there is no frozen seawall anymore due to mild spurts all through the winter.

“I remember as a boy growing up in this community that the bank was 50 to 60 feet out past the road, now it’s right up to the road.”

The 49-year old LeRoy said there were fishing sheds on the bank and all of them, along with the land, have vanished in the past 50 years. He said had it not been for the armour stone barrier, half of his field on the other side of the road would be gone.

“There has been damage every fall for the last five to six years and it’s increasingly getting worse,” he said. “I hope someone sees it for what it is and tries to do something about it.”

An email to the Department of Transportation on the issue wasn’t answered as of press time Thursday.

Meanwhile, Opposition environment and conservation critic Tom Osborne urged the provincial government in the House of Assembly Thursday to take action on the serious issue of coastal erosion.

Osborne said despite recent landslides and severe storm surges, government continues to pass its responsibility off to communities.

“How many landslides will it take for government to realize this is a critical issue that cannot be ignored?” Osborne asked in the house.  

The findings of a coastal erosion assessment in 2011 showed more than 250 communities are at high sensitivity to coastal erosion, including 25 at extreme sensitivity.

Osborne called on government to update the coastal development policy to better reflect current realities with coastal erosion, rising sea levels and storm surges.

“This is not just an environmental concern, but also a public safety concern,” Osborne said.

Organizations: Band-Aid, Department of Transportation

Geographic location: Fox Island River, Port au Port Bay

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Recent comments

  • Newfoundlander
    December 06, 2013 - 08:50

    As a permanent solution, why not move the road further inland. Putting more stone down is a temporary fix and a waste of money.