It’s been nearly eight years since the Sarnia Harbour was last dredged—that being in 2008 by Transport Canada—and the City of Sarnia’s Peter Hungerford, director of economic development, is hoping it will be at least at least a few years before a gradual filling in of sediment is required.
With a transfer of ownership to the City occurring, this is the first time for Sarnia to foot the bill, although the $3 million cost of dredging, now complete, has come from funds provided as part of the transfer of ownership.
The dredging project, done by Ocean Dredging, a Quebec firm, means ships that were scheduled to arrive at the facility for off-season repair work, can be accommodated.
What did occur was a shuffling of ships in the North Slip, dredging of which has already taken place.
Without the dredging, the City would he been forced to let business go elsewhere.
Material that was dredged has been trucked to land at the Sarnia Chris Hadfield Airport, where pumps are being used to dry the material—wetter than officials hoped—until it can be graded into a berm. Plans are for grass to be seeded on the eventual berm this spring.
Moving forward, both weather and the rates of erosion will be deciding factors as to when the next dredging operation needs to take place, although a normal fill-in rate of material is about two centimetres a year.