Delay recommended for James A. Gifford Causeway rehabilitation

·2 min read

The rehabilitation of the James A. Gifford Causeway on Chemong Lake needs to be deferred until 2023 due to extensive repairs required on the full length of its north shoreline, according to a report being presented to Peterborough County council Wednesday.

The causeway road improvements were expected to be completed this summer, but the current poor condition of the north shoreline was identified in March during an assessment, states the staff report.

Gabion baskets which support the north shoreline have failed along the full length of the causeway, due to age. These baskets are wire mesh containers filled with stone to prevent erosion.

Since the north shore repairs need to be done in the winter, it means a delay of the road work “so that the road structure is not impacted by the shoreline work,” states the report from staff.

“Advancing the shoreline repairs prior to any road surface repairs will eliminate the potential for damage to a new asphalt roadway.”

The method of repair for the north shoreline is dependent on the location of the existing gas main that was installed previously along the north shoreline.

Staff are in the process of determining the location of the gas line and once the location is discovered a decision can be made on the preferred method of repair through consultation with the federal department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada and Curve Lake First Nation, the report states.

If the gas line is inside the causeway guardrail, angular rock fill can be used which is more cost effective. If it is on the outside of the guardrail, then a more structurally sound method, preferably using armour stone, will be required.

After the north shoreline repairs are finished, a separate tender will be issued for the rehabilitation of the causeway, including construction of a multi-use path, intersection improvements and the rehabilitation of Chemong Bridge and the causeway’s road surface, all to be done in 2023.

Council will be asked to approve $275,080 plus HST to cover the new north shoreline expenses for engineering design, contract administration and inspection services by BT Engineering. It will also be asked to award a single source contract to Drain Bros. Excavating Ltd. for the north shoreline repairs.

A delegation from BT Engineering is expected to attend Wednesday’s council meeting to provide further explanation on cost impacts to the causeway project.

Brendan Burke is a staff reporter at the Examiner. His reporting is funded by the Canadian government through its Local Journalism Initiative. Reach him at

Brendan Burke, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Peterborough Examiner

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