'Beyond repair': Rocky Point wharf a safety hazard, residents say

Residents who live near the wharf in Rocky Point, P.E.I., are calling the structure a safety hazard and are asking the province to fix it. 

Located southwest of Cornwall, the wharf is falling apart. Materials used to construct it — wood and metal rebar — have fallen onto the beach and into water surrounding it. 

Deryck Mallett has lived up the road from the wharf for 16 years and said the structure is continually deteriorating.

"It's getting worse every time we have a storm and every winter it keeps pulling the thing apart," said Mallett. 

It has now become a safety issue, as material is all over the shoreline and in the water, he said.

"A lot of people come down here in the summertime to use the beach and swim and they're exposed to this here in the water," said Mallett. 

Opposition leader and MLA for the district Peter Bevan-Baker said he is aware of the situation and raised the issue in the legislature this month. 

Harbours and wharfs are typically federal jurisdiction. But Rocky Point wharf was handed to the province in the 1970s, making the structure a responsibility of the provincial government, said Bevan-Baker. 

Might be beyond repair

Bevan-Baker wants the province to address the situation at the wharf but thinks it might not be salvageable. 

"I think at this point the wharf is beyond repair. I'm not sure that that was true perhaps even five or 10 years ago. But if you look at the wharf today if you go down and look at it, it's gone," he said.

The only solution at this point, Bevan-Baker said, is to tear down what's left and "dispose of it appropriately."

Travis Kingdon/CBC News

Mallett wants the government to clean up the shoreline.

He said a priority at this point is to pick up the material on the shoreline and any portion of the wharf that is loose. If it's not picked up, another storm will blow more debris into the water, he said. 

Bevan-Baker submitted a written question to Minister of Transportation Steven Myers about the wharf. 

Looking at options

In a written answer, Myers said his department is working to clean up debris around the wharf and looking at more signs indicating the wharf is dangerous and should not be accessed by the public.

The department will also maintain "access for watercraft users who use land near the wharf to get to the water" and they will be doing an assessment of the wharf, he said in the written response. 

Travis Kingdon/CBC News

Bevan-Baker said after he received that response he spoke with the minister regarding the wharf, and did not receive a commitment on when that assessment, or the cleanup, would take place. 

"I appreciate the fact that they are aware of it and that it's on their radar but I'm hoping that they will clean it up, well as early as this year. But, I have to tell you I didn't get a commitment to that effect," he said. 

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