Extensive damage caused to structure by thick ice

RONDEAU PROVINCIAL PARK – The 420-foot-long pier that juts out into Rondeau Bay won’t be enjoyed any time soon by the thousands of people who visit this popular destination.

The harsh winter and thick ice on Rondeau Bay has caused extensive damage to the structure, which is now closed indefinitely, said Jolanta Kowalski, senior media relations officer with the Ministry of Natural Resources.

“The pressure and the ice damaged the supports and also damaged the pier decking too,” she said.

She added the wood pilings have been split and been pushed out of alignment.

Kowalski said the MNR has hired a structural engineering firm to assess the damage and report on its extent. She said the MNR will use that information to make short and long-term decisions about the pier.

The 420-foot-long pier at Rondeau Provincial Park, which is a popular spot for visitors, will remain closed indefinitely due to damage caused by ice during this harsh winter. CONTRIBUTED/ THE CHATHAM DAILY NEWS/ QMI AGENCY

When asked if the pier could be repaired by the busy summer season at the park, Kowalski said, “No, it wouldn’t be possible.”

She’s been told the the damage is fairly extensive and there’s no way to have the repairs completed by that time.

“It won’t be usable by the summer,” she added.

Kowalski didn’t want to speculate when repairs to the pier will be completed before the MNR receives a report from structural engineer firm.

“We should have that (report) in a few weeks,” she added.

There is also no estimate on what it will cost to repair.

A metal gate extends across the pier with an announcement that it is closed until further notice.

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